One surefire way to create respect among people is to look for common ground. Too often we let our differences divide us instead of looking for our similarities. I bet we’d be surprised by how much we all have in common.

A great example of this revolves around values. I know the word has gotten some bad press lately, but what I am talking about are the core values that each and every one of us hold dear. These types of values are personal but help shape the way we view the world and basically determine what goals we accomplish on a short and long term basis.

Ask most people around the world what they value, and I am sure that one of those values will likely be family. It seems to be one of the few truly universal values that people agree on.

I have a colleague that has realized this and every time he meets someone new or reconnects with a contact he asks them about their family. It’s an easy way to make someone feel comfortable and to put you both on common ground.

What you can do

See if you can find some common ground with your colleagues at work. Sure, you all work for the same organization and want it to succeed and maybe that’s enough to create a respectful workplace. But try and see if you can come with any other shared values. You might just be surprised and you might also treat those colleague with more respect as a result.