By Linda Fisher Thornton
What exactly does respect look like? It’s a question that is difficult to answer, but we need an answer if we are going to be able to help our leadership teams learn how to show it, recognize it, and expect it from others. This week I’m sharing some work I’ve done that may help.
Is Respect Enough?
The first angle to consider is this one – “Is respect enough?” Are we setting the bar high enough when we require respect as the minimum standard? In this graphic, respect is marked in YELLOW as a minimum standard and the even more positive behaviors we want to see in our organizations are marked in GREEN. Don’t we want to move past “not offending people” to demonstrating care for them?
I believe respect is a load-bearing beam that holds up an organization’s culture. Without it firmly in place, a culture is unstable and weak.
It’s much easier to require respect than it is to deal with high turnover and frequent employee complaints. Cultures where respect is not practiced are not inviting to employees or customers and they may see higher turnover, lower job satisfaction and frequent complaints.
Start the conversation in your workplace using these questions about how you interpret and deliver respect:
1. How do we define respect?
2. What examples have we shared that help people learn how to respect others?
3. How do we ensure that all of our encounters with stakeholders are service-oriented and respectful?
4. How quickly and carefully do we deal with behaviors that are not respectful, making sure that our actions match our words?
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