“Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practices in our social intercourse, give a greater charm to the character than the display of great talents and accomplishments.”– Mary Ann Kelty
All of us, whether we demonstrate it or not, are aware of a variety of ways to demonstrate respectful behaviors towards others. Showing respect doesn’t always require an overt or grand gesture. There are also several small behaviors that can be practiced on a day-to-day basis that can demonstrate respect towards others. Unfortunately, these behaviors may often be overlooked.
It is important to remember though, that although these actions may appear to be small, their effect on the recipient still has the potential to evoke strong, positive emotions such as happiness, validation, energy, engagement and motivation. Keeping these ideas in mind will ensure that you are part of creating a culture of respect within your professional or personal lives.
1. Offer a verbal compliment
Try to give at least one verbal compliment a day. It could be to someone you see every day or even a stranger whose paths you cross only momentarily. A simple compliment can go a long way in changing the outlook of someone’s entire day. And not only will they end up feeling respected but you will also get a positive mood boost too!
2. Address someone by name
It could be a co-worker you pass every day in the hall, the postal worker that delivers the mail or anyone else who you are trying to get the attention of. Then notice how they respond and react. Recalling the names of the large number of people that we meet throughout our lives can be a daunting task. However, the act of recalling someone’s name demonstrates to others that you care enough about them to make the effort to do so. And if you need help, be sure to read Ten Simple Tricks To Remembering Names for a helpful list of tricks that can help you to remember all those names.
3. Give your undivided attention
In our busy work culture, it is common to have our minds half focused on something else while simultaneously holding a conversation with someone. However, giving your undivided attention to someone is key to showing them that you respect them and their time enough to be fully present.
The next time someone walks into your office remove distractions by minimizing your computer windows, putting your mobile phone on vibrate and moving any unnecessary papers. Then give them your undivided attention and actively listen to them. You may be surprised what you hear when you are truly a participant and not just another bystander of our easily distracted culture.
4. Show interest
When people respond to the question of what makes them feel respected in our Connecting With Respect training program, one of the many responses we receive is if someone shows an interest in not just their work, but also their family. When someone shows an interest in the things that are important to us, it boosts our self-esteem and feelings of respect.
5. Be on time
Continuously being late to scheduled engagements demonstrates to others that your time is more important than everyone else’s. Instead, demonstrate that you respect others’ time and develop ways to ensure that you will be on time when you say you will. If you need some advice in this area, check out 17 Tips To Be On Time for some excellent ideas.
6. Do what you say you will
Doing what you say you will starts with YOU. Do you often tell yourself that you’ll get into the office earlier to get more done but never do? Until you start doing what you told yourself you’d do, you are not going to be able to keep your word to others either. Being sincere in your intentions is the first step to building trust within yourself and others, which ultimately leads to a respectful relationship.
7. Seek someone else’s opinion
The next time you get stumped while working on a project, seek someone else’s opinion. This shows that person that you value their expertise enough to confide in them when you need help. They might have just the answer you are looking for and in turn they’ll get a boost of respect.
8. Give credit where credit is due
Every respectful leader knows how integral it is to give staff credit when good work is completed. Not only does it enhance the collaborative effort of the team but it strengthens the leader. A leader willing to demonstrate ethical behavior will likely be in higher favor than say, the leader, who steals your idea and takes the credit.
9. Recommend someone
Recommending someone to others shows that you believe the person is strong in a certain expertise, knowledge, skill, or behavior. Recommend them for a promotion, project, award, or a new position. Recommending someone will help to form a bond of mutual respect and will also ensure that the person being recommended will continue giving their best efforts to show that they are deserving of the recommendation.
10. Give public recognition
The best kind of public recognition is often the unexpected praise that a supervisor or colleague gives in front of others. If you usually wait for a big public ceremony to give recognition, try doing it more spontaneously. Catch that employee off guard and let them know (and everyone else) what an outstanding job they are doing. They will likely appreciate this type of public recognition more so than receiving an annual award.
Do you have any other ideas for small ways in which we can show respect towards others on a daily basis? Please share them in the comments below.