There are a lot of good people who care about showing and receiving respect, but if you look at the escalating level of disrespect on the Internet (and elsewhere) that comes from being able to “anonymously” express every thought we have, it’s sometimes difficult to see! There are also times when we all use words or actions that inadvertently give the impression of disrespect because we’re too rushed or overwhelmed.
Let’s start a CONSCIOUS RESPECT movement – not only in the workplace, but in every place! We can do this by making a conscious effort to temper our words and actions, think before we speak, and find a way to show a little extra respect to everyone we meet!
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind before you post – or speak!
- Before you say something that could be construed as disrespectful, slow down and think. Picture the person at the receiving end of your comment as a person… not just a “customer” or “customer service rep” or any anonymous label.
- Think of how you would feel upon receiving your own comment. Would it hurt or insult you? Demean or belittle you? If so, don’t say it – or find another way to say what you need to say while preserving the other person’s feelings and dignity.
- Think of how you would feel if a loved one received that comment. Would they be hurt or insulted? Would you be insulted for them?
- Notice something about the other person and make a positive comment on it, as appropriate. Sometimes just taking the time to say something nice is an opportunity to show respect… it just may be the ONLY show of respect they receive that day (or that week)!
- Don’t ignore anyone. If someone approaches you (or your desk), acknowledge them. Even if you’re on the phone, you can look up and smile. If they email or call you, reply! Even if you can’t give them a full answer at that moment, at least let them know that you received their request and will get them an answer at your earliest convenience. This lets them know you a) got the request, and b) care enough about them NOT to ignore them and make them wonder.
All of these actions take a miniscule amount of time (anywhere from only 1 to 30 seconds) to accomplish… but the respect they demonstrate is immense! In fact, the respect they demonstrate is a WOW.
So, make it a habit to CONSIOUSLY respect others in order to avoid UNCONSCIOUSLY disrespecting them!
Today’s challenge: Think of who you will respect today… then go out and WOW them by doing something about it.