For the rest of the summer, we will feature Respect Tips inspired by the Why Respect Matters section of the recently released Respect Effect by Paul Meshanko.

I once worked for the same supervisor for many years. I was pretty sure that she knew me pretty well, both personally and professionally. So imagine my surprise, when someone, who did not know me that well and had only heard a rumor, accused me of something that was completely against my values. I assumed that same supervisor would defend me, but she never did.

Instead, she let me take the fall for something she knew wasn’t true and didn’t ever try to find out the real story. I was devastated. I asked other colleagues if they also believed what had been said about me, and all of them indicated that it was not like me or my character to behave that way.

Shortly after that incident, I left my position. And one of the main reasons that helped me decide to move on was that I couldn’t fathom continuing to work for someone who didn’t know me and my values and who did not defend me publicly.

What you can do

Speak up and defend someone publicly. It may seem like a small gesture, but I promise you, to the to the person who you are defending, it will mean so much more and increase their sense of respect.