To demonstrate respect, never do anything to disconfirm, belittle, or ridicule others.
Failure to treat others with consideration and respect undermines the effectiveness of your interactions with them as well as the value of any work you do for them.
If you’re interacting with someone who’s more senior or experienced also keep this in mind — more “senior” people often expect to be treated with some degree of deference. Assume, therefore, that there may be consequences of some kind if you fail to act in ways that meet those expectations.
What else can you do to show respect?
The list is long but here are a few additional suggestions we think are key:
- Be genuine and sincere.
Demonstrate real concern and interest in what the other person is trying to achieve.
- Be proactive.
Anticipate the other person’s needs and offer help even before you’re asked. Acting in a proactive way demonstrates and clearly communicates the regard you have for someone else.
- Listen actively and ask appropriate questions.
Everyone wants to “be heard.” Failure to “hear” another person, clearly communicates a level of disinterest and is often interpreted by the other party as a clear lack of respect. One way to avoid this pitfall is to listen actively –to be totally engaged in conversations and focused on what the other person is saying.
- Follow through on commitments.
Following through on commitments is essential to developing and maintaining respect-based relationships. Nothing is more destructive than not “showing-up” when it comes to delivering on a performance commitment. If you say you’re going to do something – do it!
- Always have the person’s “back.”
“I’ve got your back” has become a familiar phrase in today’s lexicon and turning this phrase into action is a clear way to demonstrate respect. But it doesn’t mean that you indiscriminately cover for someone or follow blindly when you know the direction is wrong or ill-conceived. Deep respect for others means that you exercise real judgment – that you’re able to “speak truth to power” in a caring and respectful way even when it may be difficult. Sometimes saying “no” or “have you thought about this alternative” is the clearest indicator that you really do have the other person’s “back.”
- Step 1:
Pick two characters from movies, TV, or books that you really dislike.
- Step 2:
Picture them clearly in your mind. Now imagine meeting them in your professional life.
- Step 3:
How could you show these people “respect” without going against your own principles?
- Step 4:
Apply what you’ve learned to other situation at work — to discover how there are always opportunities to show respect no matter what the specific situation.