When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly.
When you’re stressed from a toxic relationship, it heightens our senses and it’s easier to snap at people when more pressure is added. Or, more simply, you’re just not yourself. On the flip side, when someone snaps at you in the office, you may be so vulnerable from the toxic relationship that you take it more personally than it need to be taken. That could affect if you even want to go back to the office again! There is no doubt being in a toxic relationship can affect your work, and this is why I promote general respect for all colleagues in a work environment – because everyone is dealing with their own battles at any given time.
I don’t often blog about work issues because it’s seen as a bit taboo talking about work and your feelings about the workplace in an open forum. I’m fortunate that I work for a fantastic organisation where I’ve learnt a lot and shared a lot using my skills. The one thing I noticed that works well at my current company, better than any other organisation I’ve ever worked for is that all the staff respect each other and there’s a genuine care in the culture and consequently a nice atmosphere. This is particularly helpful when it comes to teamwork because respect builds trust and it goes from there. So this week, I look at why you should respect your colleagues and how you can do it, so you can start working in an organisation with a beautiful culture like the one I’m in!
What does it mean to respect your colleagues?
Respect is having consideration for yourself and others. This could mean respecting people’s privacy, their personal space, belongings, perspectives, philosophies, physical ability, beliefs and personality. It is also acting in honour of yourself, your values and your colleagues – recognising their importance.
Why you should respect your colleagues
Respect is one of those things that is hard to gain and very easy to lose. We’ll talk more on how you can gain it shortly, but it’s important to know why you should respect your colleagues. Here are some of the benefits of respecting your co-workers – it will:
– Build trust
– Enhance your working relationships
– Help you to enjoy work more
– Increase job performance
– Decrease stress
– Improve teamwork, workflow and output.
How to respect others
Knowing what to do to show your respect for others is vital. It’s important that you pay attention to people to ensure you are showing respect in the way they want to be respected because if you get it wrong it could have the opposite effect.
– Treat others with respect and dignity
– Build a sense of community spirit by organising little events – ensure you include everyone
– Abide by work ethics
– Maintain confidentiality
– Treat your colleagues as you wish to be treated
– Support your colleagues in times of need
– Be an active listener, genuinely care about your colleagues
– Start each morning with a cheerful greeting – a general “hello” or “good morning” is sufficient
– Learn the art of small talk and accept teasing that is in good-taste
– Ask for opinion and input – it shows you care what they think
– Pretend your children/parents are watching when dealing with a difficult colleague
– Give compliments often, recognise achievements where ever possible
– Spread good cheer – do something each week: cook a cake, give a colleague a thank you card, give someone chocolates who has been a bit down etc.
– Return calls and emails promptly
– Give credit where credit is due, if someone mistakenly offers you credit, openly correct them and refer the credit to the person who has rightly earned it
– Work as hard as everyone else in your team
– Share any good ideas you have.
How to earn respect in the workplace
– Manage your emotions
– Keep your personal life separate
– Remain positive: you don’t know what you don’t know
– Manage your stress as best you can
– Watch your communication: choice of words, tone of voice, body language etc
– Accept feedback and instruction from your superiors
– When communicating with colleagues talk about: what you are currently doing for the company, what are some of your goals you’re striving for or even personal goals that may affect work
– Value face-to-face interactions and thank people for their time
– Use emails if you have a specific request or update for a colleague so they can refer back to it at their convenience
– Take responsibility for your assigned role and all the tasks that come with it
– Say thank you and mind your manners, give positive feedback and validation for a job well done
– Do something special for your colleagues or peers – running an errand, answering the phone or just generally doing something small to go the extra mile
– Follow through when you say you will do something – never miss a deadline
– Don’t be late for your meetings
– Dress like you’re going to ask for a raise every day
– Keep your workspace clean and tidy
– Avoid drinking too much at work gatherings – this includes the Christmas party!