At the beginning of each Connecting With Respect workshop we lead, we ask participants to agree to 12 “Rules of Respect”.  We suggest these guidelines both to ensure a safe learning environment and  to assist each participant  to develop a heightened sense of empathy and awareness during the process.

When rereading the “rules” recently, I realized they could also be used as guidelines for any group or organizational meeting.

  1. Be aware of your nonverbal and extra verbal cues.
  2. Show curiosity for the views of others.
  3. Treat other people like they’re smart.
  4. Listen better by shaking your “but”.
  5. Look for opportunities to connect with and support others.
  6. When you disagree, explain why.
  7. Seek ways to grow, stretch and change.
  8. Allow yourself to be wrong on occasion.
  9. Never hesitate to say you are sorry.
  10. Engage others in ways that build their self-esteem.
  11. Share your ideas proportionally.
  12. Smile!

While certainly not the last word on the topic, these guidelines do help set the tone for an open-minded exploration on the subject of respect. But I’m sure there are even more ideas.

What would you add to this list?


Paul Meshanko is an author, professional speaker and business leader with over 20 years of experience in leadership development and organizational culture change.
After a 12-year career with AlliedSignal, he opened Legacy Business Cultures in 1997 to serve the Nation’s growing demand for innovative and proven strategies for creating best in class workplace cultures. Paul specializes in change management and employee engagement training, diversity and inclusion training, executive coaching and organizational assessments. Under his leadership, the business has grown to become one of the most successful boutique talent and development providers in the country.