What to Do When a Teammate Doesn’t Respect You

what to do when a teammate doesn't respect you

You know they don’t respect you.

Maybe they parked in your parking spot. You know, the parking spot that’s not marked just for you, but that everyone should know not to park in because it’s just for you. Maybe they lumped you in with other, lesser humans on the “To” line in an email when you deserved your own special “To” line on that email, given your preeminence among them.

I’m just kidding. I know you’re not that idiotic. It would take a pretty ridiculous human to get worked up about stuff like that. But there are times when you just kind of get the feeling that someone might not like or respect you for one reason or another.

And look, that’s going to happen, right? None of us is naive enough to think that everyone is going to love everyone all the time. But as leaders, what do we do when we get that feeling? How should we respond when we get the sense something is off between us and someone on our team?

Here are some thoughts.

When You Think a Teammate Doesn’t Respect You…


1. Demand their respect. Respect doesn’t work that way.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t demand respect. Respect doesn’t work that way. #leadership #companyculture”]

2. Talk about them to others on the team. That will have the opposite effect of what you’re hoping.

3. Treat them poorly because your feelings are hurt. Again, that will have the opposite effect.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t treat people poorly just b/c your feelings are hurt. #leadership #companyculture”]

4. Engage in passive-agressive behavior. Like the rest of these, it will have the opposite effect; and like the rest of these, it’s childish.


1. Realize you might be wrong. Remind yourself that until you speak with them about it and they confirm it, what you’re wrestling with is your perception of how they feel.

2. Ask yourself if what you want is really respect, or if it’s something more along the lines of feeding your ego.

3. Ask yourself if your desire for respect is in any way rooted in what’s actually a desire for power. The two are actually quite different at their roots.

4. Ask yourself how vulnerable and humble you’ve been.

[bctt tweet=”It’s always good to ask yourself how #vulnerable you’ve been w/ your team lately. #leadership”]

5. Demonstrate vulnerability and speak with your teammate about what you’re thinking and feeling. On teams that are vulnerable and trusting, this conversation should be totally within acceptable team norms.

Those are just a few thoughts. Got any to add? Enter them in the comments below!

One thought on “What to Do When a Teammate Doesn’t Respect You

  • Great advice…, despite work culture; tension, pressure, competition, or whatever other goodies maybe your pleasure, that most commonly may arise, despite the discomfort of it all, in all sincerity, the true professional knows, rule number one involves direct communication, upon having completed first, the sometimes dreaded but much necessary thoroughly honest self examination/exploration. Upon a critical self evaluation & consideration of any contributing factors, then a conversation must be directly addressed without passing go or drawing input from chance or collecting…well you get my drift. To begin conversation surrounding solution focused dialog between those directly involved versus involving unnecessary outfielders who can confuse & quickly change the name of the game entirely.

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