For many business owners, it’s not enough just to make money. There are a number of business leaders who prefer to be respected.

You can’t develop a good reputation overnight, however. Instead, you need to building over time. The way you act and the way you interact with other people can lead to respect from your peers and from your customers.

As you look to become a respected business leader, here are five traits to develop:

1. Act Polite and Respectful

One of the first rules of receiving respect is to give respect. If you want to cultivate a culture of respect in your business, it has to start with you. Even if you don’t agree with someone you can still act with respect towards them.

It’s also important to be polite. Treat everyone with a common courtesy, whether it’s a customer or employee. Do your best to learn how to be calm and control your emotions. That way, you’re less likely to go off in a rage and cause problems.

Start by treating everyone as you would like to be treated and pretty soon you will be respected as well.

2. Show a Willingness to Change

Sometimes we think of business leaders as monoliths. Sometimes their personalities seem bigger than who they really are. We also don’t often allow people the space to change and become better. However, the most respected people are those were willing to change the way they do something when they receive new information.

It’s not a sign of weakness to show progress as a person and as a business owner. We should be learning from our mistakes and failures. Where you show a willingness to change, you are more likely to garner the respect of those around you.

3. Listen

Do you take the time to really listen and not just hear? The reality is that listening is an active process. The business leaders receive the most respect are those who know how to listen to the people around them.

Ask questions of the speakers including employees. You never know where the next great idea will come from, your workers will appreciate that you truly take the time to get to know them to listen. Don’t forget that listening can be a great idea if you are hoping for advice from a mentor or peer.

4. Avoid Excuses

Own up to your mistakes and don’t throw others under the bus. Also, don’t make excuses for what you do. You don’t need to dwell on your mistakes, but you also shouldn’t try to avoid them or palm them off on others. You will earn more respect by acknowledging and apologizing rather than avoiding and making excuses.

5. Help Others

The best business leaders truly understand what it means to help others. They know that they got to where they are with help and they are willing to lend a hand. You can gain respect by offering your insights and help to others. Become a mentor, or be willing to pitch in and help your team.

As you go through the process of building respect, you’ll soon discover that is a process that helps you just as much as it helps others.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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