The Lost Art of Respect
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In today’s increasingly divisive world, it seems that the art of respect is disappearing fast. From online trolls, to a culture of criticism, to increasing incivility in personal and professional interactions, an epidemic of disrespect is growing. If we do nothing, it’s only going to get worse. So, what’s the solution? We must reengage and rebuild our respect for each other – if not, we’ll never succeed in business or in life. Here’s how:
If you want to give respect, you have to seek out opportunities to acknowledge people. For example, always use someone’s name and make sure to say thank you. As Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” once said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
Tolerance is really another word for giving someone grace. All too often we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions, while we judge others by their actions. Striving to be more tolerant and have grace for others is respect in action.
Having admiration for someone is another form of respect. The American film director Hal Hartley once said, “Respect, admiration and trust equals love,” while French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “Tell me who admires and loves you and I’ll tell you who you are.” Food for thought!
By definition, deference is the respect shown for another person especially because of his or her experience, knowledge or age. Being politely deferential means sometimes yielding to someone’s judgment or preference out of reverence. As the English poet William Shenstone once said, “Deference is the most indirect and most elegant of all compliments.”
Walk the talk
To be truly respected in life, you must walk the talk. That means keeping your promises and your word. If you say one thing and you do another, you’ll never receive the respect you want.
Respect is all about being considerate and honoring the feelings, opinions, and property of others. If you want to receive respect, you first must show it to others. Give and you will receive!
Do it for a long time
As you become more and more successful in life, make sure that respect is a hallmark of your character. Give respect continually to everyone you meet along the way and you will ultimately be respected.
Giving and receiving respect is crucial to personal and professional success. When you’re respectful to yourself, your loved ones, your staff, customers and community, you’ll build a positive culture one interaction at a time. Focus on respect and you’ll change your own heart and attitude, transform your interactions with others, positively impact your business and vastly increase your success. To learn more, listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life”.