As I write this, my office area is completely silent. All of the people in the department next to me have left the building to attend the funeral of a co-worker’s mother. Close to 20 people have chosen to offer this tribute. Some of them may not know the co-worker as well as others, and some may detest funerals. Some may even be fairly uncomfortable. Never mind that. They still went–out of respect. What a powerful statement.
Too often, we forget to consider the impact of respect in our daily lives. I’m unsure whether we take its importance for granted or if we think it is self-evident. Either way, I find it crucial to my well-being. Feeling respected improves my self-confidence, brightens my overall outlook, and increases my likelihood of trying new things. It affects how I treat others, as well as my own productivity. If it works for me, I’m pretty certain it works for you. Showing respect to others seems like an easy formula for better…well, everything.
We show respect most powerfully when we do it with our everyday actions: being polite, ignoring gossip, asking advice, admitting when we are wrong or don’t know something, recognizing and appreciating the strengths of others. Doing something once won’t get you there; respect is born of consistency and sincerity. The funny thing is, you just might get it back.
By the way, this post isn’t meant solely for the workplace. Try it at home, too. Your kids will appreciate it.
I find it very interesting how compelled I am to point out where I feel people are wrong, insensitive, rude. This is not true of strangers. I would never tell a server or a hotel clerk or a business collegue that they were out of line. No, this is concentrated on friends, children and loved ones. There is a pervasive belief that if I don’t correct their flawed begscie it will continue. However, the opposite is true. By calling attention to their mistake/shortcomings it actually creates division – they defend their position and become more entrenched as the push back becomes greater. A power struggle ensues. But like your comments about respect, telling people what they do right (even when it’s a bit of a stretch) and treating them with respect generally empowers them to rise to the level of my praise. I’m catching my flies with honey.