|#37 - R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Show me how!
These past months, I have been facilitating a series of invigorating conversations between leaders and their teams on respect in their workplace. We start with introductory words from the leader on why have this conversation at this time, and how respect is defined in their policies. We continue with a short exposé on the impact of disrespect on people and organizations. Finally, we get down to the heart of the matter, i.e. the actual behaviours that demonstrate respect and those behaviours that are deemed disrespectful by the group, and what to do about them.
Over the years, I’ve facilitated many such workshops, retreats and interventions where groups large and small come up with their social contract for a better workplace. I am always struck by the simplicity and poignancy of the responses coming from participants to the question: What does respect look, feel, or sound like to you? Let me share the top 7 responses from team members, workers bees, and managers alike:
A simple recipe, right?
- Say “Hello”!
- Share your expectations of me, clearly
- Listen, actively
- Involve me
- Offer opportunities and challenges
- Hold me accountable for results
- Say “Thank you”!
So what’s in the way of saying ‘Hello’ or ‘Thank you’, or engaging in any of the practices listed above? The answers are as numerous as the individuals in a team. Bottom line is that respect is continually taught, learned and demonstrated over a lifetime. It requires conscious attention….and modelling: A leader plays a critical role in showing the way, and while many do, others don’t. Then there’s the important influence of co-workers. What are you modelling? How are you demonstrating respect for co-workers and managers on your team?
This week, I invite you to choose one of the items on the list above; the one that means the most to you. How do you embody it in your own work life? Do you request it from co-workers or your manager? And feel free to answer the same questions for one that’s not on this list, and is significant to you.
In the end, respect in the workplace becomes the norm when managers and workers alike are walking their R.E.S.P.E.C.T. talk.