R-E-S-P-E-C-T: What’s it Mean to You?

I’ve been thinking about respect lately (the word and the sentiment) and its importance in life, but especially work.

So, in January I conducted a very brief, informal, and far-from-scientific poll through my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to find out what others think about it—what respect means to them.

The answers varied in detail, but there were many consistencies that I boiled down to this:

  • Listen to people and encourage a healthy dialogue.
  • Answer people’s questions thoughtfully.
  • Consider others’ feelings before speaking or acting.
  • Trust people to do a job well.
  • Don’t judge others regarding their life stations, circumstances, or choices.

Respect in the workplace is just as important as it is in a family or friendship circle.

Some say respect does not come automatically and is not a gift. Others say respect has to be earned. But I suggest we pay people respect automatically, that we employ respect as our default sentiment when we deal with others. We can afford to do that.

And what better way to earn respect than to demonstrate it daily, starting right now? 

How do you define respect?