In the classic Aretha Franklin song, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Find out what it means to me” is a famously quoted line. In real life, however, respect has different meanings to different people. For instance, when we talk about respect in our workplace seminars, we ask participants to describe a time when they felt respected – felt being the significant word here.

Not only is it important to visualize what respect looks like, but also what it feels like. Most participants will relay a story about a time when someone asked them for input, expressed an interest in their work, publicly praised them, etc. Then when they talk about how they felt after these incidents occurred, participants usually use words like valued, supported or even trusted.

So why is this essential? Because when the brain processes positive emotions created from respectful behaviors, it actually increases our mood, which can lead to higher productivity. My question for all of you is:

What does respect mean to you?