“You can’t build a relationship with a hammer.” - Unknown
An executive I began a leadership coaching program with was sharing with me that he demanded respect from his people. He went on to say that employees should always respect their boss, just like a child should respect his father. After a few questions and some self-reflection, he realized the problem with this. Respect is not something we can demand, or force. A position or title does not entitle us to respect. It’s what we do that earns respect.
If you’re constantly looking for respect, it may be time to hold up the mirror. Are you showing respect to others? Are you respecting yourself? What we are seeking, respect in this case, may actually be what we need to be practicing ourselves.
Here are a few ways to start practicing respect:
Know yourself, and accept yourself.
Take care of yourself - mind, body, spirit. Be good to yourself.
Walk your talk - do what you say you’re going to do.
Realize you don’t know someone else’s situation. Be careful not to make assumptions and judge.
Don’t project your idea of perfection on someone else.
Be mindful of your intent. If you’re feeling angry, frustrated or resentful, explore what is going on with you (rather than lashing out in disrespect for someone else).
Be aware of your ego (when you’re feeling “more than” or “less than” someone else). Keep your ego in-check and realize that’s not really you - it’s fear.
Consider how someone else might feel - think before you speak.
Seek clarity. Words get misused and misunderstood. Don’t take it personally.
Never be too big to apologize and to accept someone else’s apology.
Now it's your turn, in the comments below share how someone in your life earned your respect. What do they practice? What are their respect-worthy characteristics?