When you read the title, did you think this blog would be about respecting your elders? When we hear the phrase, “show your respect,” it’s usually in that context. I want to challenge us all to think more broadly about respect, because respect is simply treating people in a way that makes them feel cared for and important. I got this simple definition of respect from Sesame Street.
I believe every individual has something to contribute whether it’s knowledge, perspective, expertise, talent, or skill they can share with others. And we are all more likely to contribute when someone is treating our opinion or contribution as if it matters, because in fact it does matter. When someone is giving us the admiration we deserve, we feel valued and do better work.
Showing respect also is helpful in conflict situations. Did you give someone the benefit of the doubt? Did you ask them what happened before you assumed they did something wrong? Did you get both sides of the story? Treating people in a way that makes them feel cared for is another way of showing respect.
I had the honor and privilege years ago of working for Mike Etue who showed respect for everyone. He listened intently, sought to learn from everyone, and showed people they mattered. I learned a tremendous amount from watching Mike, but I certainly fall short of his example.
Interestingly enough, the best way to earn respect is by first giving it to other people. Sometimes I think we act as if we give respect away, there won’t be any left for ourselves. People will trust you more when you respect them, and trust earns respect in return.
If respect is something that can multiply when shared, why were we primarily taught to respect our elders? Everyone deserves to be respected.
At the end of the day… is an expression meaning an assessment of essential facts and truths. It’s a summation of the pros and cons of any situation and a straightforward statement of what really matters. It’s also the title of this blog series by Brenda Hodge, Nuance Healthcare’s Chief Marketing Officer, with insights about leadership, empathetic customer relationships, and marketing techniques.