|-||esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.|
|-||deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment:|
I've been thinking about respect a lot over the last year or so, mainly driven by interaction with colleagues at work and my personal life.
Respect is a profound word; title or position don't confer respect (although it does set an expectation), only word, deed and action. As people it is easy to dismiss people in certain roles or of certain titles, forgetting that they got there because someone had respect for them and trusted them enough to engage them in that role.
I've been thinking about respect because of how it impacts me; how I react when I think I'm not being respected, being ignored, dismissed or denied. Equally, I think about how I'm perceived when I show lack of respect; by my word, deed or action I give the impression of being disrespectful and that it is quite permissible for those near me to do the same.
Either way, when we as people choose to not show or demonstrate respect, the results are awful.
As a manager, if I allow my staff to act out of course or not treat each situation seriously, I am failing myself, my manager and my staff. If I don't listen to my children when they want attention, generally I am showing a real lack of respect for them - which impacts self-esteem and set's them up for the future.
Equally, being left out, ignored, over-ruled without explanation or treated with contempt shows a tremendous lack of respect to me, and impacts my perception of the person or people acting that way. It makes me cross when it happens to someone I care about, or happens from someone I care about or expect more of.
Sometimes I dismiss as lack of experience on other's part; sometimes I am left with the view said person or people are not worth my ongoing respect.
Such a simple word, and yet such a massive effect on how we work, play, and act around others. Hard to build up, genuine to take with you wherever you go, and easy enough to destroy when not paying attention.
So why write this abstract in a technology column?
Technology is dirty. It involves muck, compromise, mess, argument, ego clashes and so on. Most companies involved in technology have dreadful starts in any new endeavour, and build up a reputation for success that earns them respect. But having to live through the early part of the endeavour is painful in the extreme for all involved.
Orcon is going aggressive on LLU; I am sure there have been some real wins and some really nasty situations with stressed out folk. Ditto WorldExchange and their VFX service, which appears to be getting better all the time. When Vodafone, Telecom and TelstraClear enter the new arena full-swing, it's highly likely the same situation will occur; pain for the early adopters, a lack of respect for those who built these services, and a gradual building by WORD, DEED and ACTION of real success.
It is easy to be harsh, to dismiss or ignore, and to be critical. In some cases deserved, in some cases unfair.
As a person, the hardest part for all of us is to treat everyone around us with respect.
Yet when we don't, we ultimately let them and ourselves down.
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