By Keith Coats
Respect is important currency in all relationships and whilst it may sound simple, the reality is, it is far from simple.
How respect is given and received is strongly nuanced by personality, culture and context. Understanding these nuances is the key to practicing respect.
Most organisations list ‘respect’ as a core value and yet what that really means and how it is interpreted, is subject to a wide range of interpretation depending on your age and culture.
Here are 5 practical keys into unlocking a deeper understanding of the important value that is respect
Respect is one of four behaviours that underpin what it means to practice ‘Invitational’ leadership – the others being optimism, trust and intentionality. Being ‘invitational’ as a person is to be able to ‘invite the best out in those around us’ and respect is the starting point to making it possible to be such a person.
Different generations practice respect in different ways. Older generations generally have a ‘positional respect’ position. This means that they ‘respect the position’ without needing to know if the person in that position is ‘worthy’ of holding that position. In other words the position is what gains immediate attention and respect. Of course as they get to know the person, respect might wane or fluctuate.
The default position on respect for younger generations is that of ‘relational respect’ meaning that respecting someone hinges on knowing him or her regardless of that person’s position or title. Respect has to be earned.
These are paradoxical approaches to respect – same word, different meanings or interpretations. Being aware of this paradox can make life a lot easier and make a big difference in dealing with those younger or older than oneself!
This is the third lesson in our Diversity and Social Intelligence course in the Future of Work Academy, authored by leadership expert, Keith Coats. You can visit the website for other great resources at www.thefutureofworkacademy.com