The Richness of Respect

My home is situated in a unique area in North Florida called the Sand Hills. Located north of the beaches of the Emerald Coast, our soil is not rich. The only really good thing about that is that it drains quickly when we get buckets of rain.  But in order to have an abundant garden or grow anything other than native plants, the soil has to be enriched.

Our economic climate has left most businesses with the equivalent of sandy soil to grow in.  Something has to be added or enhanced in order  to sustain new growth.  So what are the elements needed to create that environment? I recently wrote about the vital element of trust and in coming articles will address additional strategic principles that when infused into the atmosphere of your workplace will foster growth.

Today’s focus is

R-E-S-P-E-C-T –  Find out what it means to me ….

It’s virtually impossible to build a healthy relationship without mutual respect.  Self-respect is the first point of reference and so fundamental I don’t think it bears addressing here. Webster’s dictionary defines respect as esteem; to consider worthy of high regard; to refrain from interfering with.

Raising teenagers is a nitty-gritty illustration of the importance of respect for relational success. We have, by the grace of God, navigated raising three amazing children who’ve grown into awesome adults.  They’ve taught me a lot.  To be respected, you have to give respect. It’s fundamental to human nature to want to be valued. I was keenly aware that though I knew best and had more wisdom and experience than my kids, I had to listen to them and honor them as intelligent, gifted people in order to stay truly engaged with them.  A dictatorship only works for the short-term and often results in rebellion.  So it goes in the workplace.  Strategies change, principles don’t.

How do we respect others?

Give them space to make their own decisions and even make mistakes. Trying to control others makes them feel manipulated conveys a lack of trust.  IBM’s Tom Watson was asked if he was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. He said “No, I just spent $600,000 training him, why would I want somebody to hire his experience?”

Listen to them. Give them your time.

Tune in to what motivates them. Show interest in what they’re interested in. Not by interrogation, lest you appear intrusive, but by acknowledging the value of what’s important to them.

It’s much easier to protect something you already have than have to work to regain something you’ve lost. Invest in those on your team by respecting them.

After all, doesn’t it make sense to build a company culture that creates a line of people wanting to work with you rather than watching a steady stream of talent going out?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Attitude, Business Strategies, Coaching, Leadership

2 Comments on “The Richness of Respect”

  1. Becky Harmon Says:

    Wow. Simple yet powerful. Love this, thank you for the reminder!


  2. […] Give respect and you will get respect. I wrote recently about the power of honoring another and you can make more headway with this principle than with brute strength any day. Be sure to […]


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