Informal Respect

Each of us have probably felt disrespected at least once in our lives. Disrespect can take many forms – as can respect. This past week, I observed a few behaviors which begged to be highlighted. The following are just two examples of disrespect, and a few simple suggestions of behaviorly modifications to totally change the way we meet the other person, which translates into how the other party feels.

  1. Interrupting. I am guilty of this on occasion, so I totally ‘get’ how easy this can become a habit. This is something I constantly have to work on. Many of you may as well. Interrupting is a disdainful behavior. Sure, there are times when we are agreeing with the other party that is one thing. However, when we interrupt and talk over another person, this implies that what we have to say is more important; that we believe our opinions are more relevant or worthy of attention, that we are simply smarter than they are. It is simply rude and a form of disrespect. We need to stop – simply stop. Breathe. Listen – really listen. Stop planning what we are going to say when they are finished. Stop thinking about what we have to offer that is smarter or more current. It is truly not important. What IS important is really listening to the other person – without interruption.
  2. Dismissiveness. Have you ever offered a comment to someone only to have them look at you and literally dismiss what you have said? I have. I am quite certain that none of us hit the nail on the head every single time we offer a comment, a perspective, an opinion, or an observation. That is quite certainly not the point. What is the point, is that every person’s voice deserves to be heard. We may not agree with what is said – that is irrelevant. Showing respect for the other person’s right to an opinion and to share that opinion is what is relevant. We all want to be heard. Giving another person our undivided attention is the greatest gift we can give. There is no room for dismissing another person in our professional or personal encounters.

Listen. Appreciate. Learn.