How Do You Spell Respect

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision March 2nd, 2021

So... Just How Do You Spell Respect?

Respect has always been a subject (and sentiment) of debate.  What constitutes respect and how to go about best reciprocating it, has spawned endless controversy.

What is abundantly clear, is that respect is something that is earned.  Whether in a business setting, or in our personal lives, we must earn the respect of those around us through our actions.

Great leaders throughout human history excelled at earning the respect and admiration of others. 

Further, obtaining respect and influence is a skill.  Albeit, a skill that is not taught in school (unfortunately).

We often see slogans and sayings that revolve around respecting one another.  Perhaps most prevalent, is the workplace poster that demands you respect your fellow employees.  Often, this poster may even state that respect is part of the “corporate policy.”

While the intentions of these slogans, posters, and sayings, may be pure, they are without a doubt ineffective by their very nature.

It is impossible to enforce respect.  To put it plainly, you may as well not even try.

So How To Obtain And Spell Respect?

To spell out respect for anyone who seeks it requires a foundational knowledge of building relationships.  Some of us can do this instinctively.  Others will struggle with building a professional (or even social) network their entire lives.

To increase your chances of success, you need a plan.  Foreknowledge is always the key to any achievement.  Obtaining respect is no different.

Here are the methods of the word itself, and how to best go about securing your own network of like-minded individuals:

R = Relativity and Relationships

In “spelling” out your own respect, try to understand the relativity of your relationships.  This is key to molding or influencing them in the interim.

If you have employees who simply view you as “the boss,” then they are unlikely to share their deeper opinions or knowledge with you.  Continuing a trend where you’re simply seen as an authority figure would only serve to entrench them further in their opinion of who you are.

Rather than letting this happen (as it so often does), you could instead choose to cultivate your relationships. 

Gaining the respect of others is always a matter of persistence and patience.  Rather than appear aloof or unsupportive, instead try to actively engage with your employees.

Conversely, if you are an employee yourself, you are not limited in any way by the nature of your position.  In fact, it may be of great importance that you show initiative, mutual respect, and support for those around you.

Often, employees who are well-liked and show an aptitude for such leadership, are offered opportunities for advancement.

In today’s world, there is an emerging trend of polarization and uncertainty.  Rather than balk in this new environment, seize the opportunity.  Forge relationships with those under you, or those you work beside.

It will only serve to help you earn their respect.

How Do You Spell Respect

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.”

-R.G. Risch

E = Everyone’s Person (All The Time!)

Everyone in your organization has value.  Respecting others will gain you respect in turn.

People never forget how a person made them feel.  That’s a common saying.  What they leave out, is that people also talk amongst themselves.

If you make an entire group of people feel better, more capable, and can motivate their ambitions, word will get out.  Fast.

They’ll come to understand you are someone who is naturally valuable to have around.  In fact, if you can master being everyone’s person, you’ll gain respect almost instantly.

Think of how a forest fire starts (perhaps a strange example, but bear with me).  It starts slowly, and by chance.  A tiny flickering fire.  As it gains momentum and spreads however, it soon becomes a raging conflagration.

This same “spreading of the flame” principle applies to people.  Before you know it, they’ll have discussed you in several circles, and all will have come to an agreement about who you are (and how you made them feel).

An example of true leadership that still hangs with me to this day, was of my old manager.  I was no more than 16, yet my manager Mike (not his real name), was an exemplary individual in his field.  He was the production manager for an automotive manufacturer.

The way Mike treated people was surreal.  Everyone reacted to his mere presence with excitement and wide-eyed happiness.  He didn’t even really have to speak (or could say very little) and people would still be so happy to see him inspecting the lines.

By this point in my life, I had already realized that a “boss” was not someone you wanted to be around as an employee.  Most of them tend to yell and make demands.  Not so with Mike.

I specifically remember one dreary, rainy day, that Mike was making his usual rounds.  An old man named George, who was one of our plant’s janitors, had just accidentally tipped over a large garbage bin.  No sooner had George made this mistake, than did he look up from the mess to see Mike approaching him swiftly.

I’ll never forget the sudden fear in George’s eyes.  He looked terrified.  From his mere expression, it was as if he felt certain he was about to be fired.

As George would tell me later, he really did think he was about to lose his job.  George had been yelled at so many times for petty things.  Minor mistakes that he had made prior, were the cause of fitful yelling and reprimanding from other managers in the facility.

Not so with Mike.

Mike immediately strode up to George, smiled as he righted the fallen over bin, and without missing a beat, he knelt to the ground as he began quickly scooping up the waste that littered the floor.

George took a moment to realize what was happening, still bracing from what he seemed convinced was about to be a terrible lecture.  Yet as he softened, he simply nodded at Mike, and began helping him correct the situation.

In moments they had cleaned the floors.  Perfectly so, in fact.  You would never have even known that there had been garbage and dirt strewn about.

Moments later the two were laughing aloud, engaged as they were in a lively discussion.

In short, a true leader will take care of his people.  All of them.  No matter how high or low they may rank in any organization.

S = Support

Spelling respect out for yourself means ensuring that everyone is well-taken care of.  This is not an easy proposition.

Many positions are underpaid, lack benefits, or offer difficult hours.

If you are an employer, there is often something you can do to alleviate these issues.  Although it may not be simple, you can still:

  • Remove barriers to getting things done in a timely fashion.
  • Grant resources to help your employees in their work and personal lives.
  • Pay workers fairly for their hours.
  • Find ways of sponsoring those who excel.
  • Create a workplace culture of fairness and inclusion.

As an employee, you can still affect the outcome.  A good employee is worth his or her weight in gold.  They often do the following:

  • Go the extra mile for their workplace and their fellow employees.
  • Voice concerns in a factual and open manner to their employers.
  • Strive to better themselves and create new opportunities for growth.
How Do You Spell Respect

“When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are.  When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.”

-Thomas S. Monson

P = Please Others

Many employers simply bark orders.  They fail to realize that they have the best opportunity right in front of them. 

Earning the respect of your employees can be as simple as treating them kindly.  This will show them you are not only a business owner, but also a leader.

Empowering people is the best way to earn their trust and to unleash their talents.  Those with potential to perform will be reluctant to do so in a toxic environment.  That’s simply the way it is.

Rather than lose out on performance, foster a culture that is based on mutual cultivation of professionalism and respect.

Offering a kind, “please,” or a simple, “thank you,” can make a world of difference.  People will respond in a big way when you make them feel appreciated and upbeat.

Most managers have a hard time reading others.  They simply assume that they’re doing a great job.  In reality, they’re dismissive of their own people.

Employees notice when this happens.  They actively enjoy talking about the oblivious management or “wannabe leader” who fails to take the time to be courteous. 

An abrasive or contradictory attitude is the worst thing you can have, no matter your position.  Whether you are a leader, an employer, or an employee, strive to please others (within reason!) and earn their deepest respect.

E = Energize and Encourage!

A good leader can encourage others.  A great leader can inspire a group of people to perform beyond their own expectations.

If you can find your own inner strength to motivate others to succeed, you will have gained a precious skill and commodity.

The greatest organizations ever formed always had leaders who could spur them to new heights.  They did this through mentorship, coaching, teaching, and striving to create an impetuous exuberance within the ranks. 

When morale soars within the rank-and-file, you’ll have developed a unique energy.  This can then be directed to propel heightened productivity, innovation, and problem-solving.  Employees that truly believe in their organization, and who are offered consistent guidance, can achieve anything.

Great leadership helps employees to grow beyond what they thought possible.

C = Care

Genuinely caring about those around you can make a world of difference.  Showing compassion for the struggles, successes, and opinions of others, is an indispensable trait. 

Gaining respect comes through this consistency.  Ask yourself:

  • Do you ask about how others are doing each and every day?
  • Are you able to recall the birthdays of your employees?
  • What are the names of your workers’ children?
  • Is anyone suffering from illness?  Is their family?
  • Would you be able to organize a special event for a person(s) in need?
  • Caring for others through activities such as these, is the path to creating sustainable relationships.  In short, this breeds respect.

T = Treat

Treating people as you would yourself is a great metric that earns the respect of others.

When approaching different situations, always first ask yourself how you would react in their shoes.  What would the appropriate response be, if you were talking to your own mirror image?  Does this change the current approach you were about to adopt?

Through treating others well, you will be setting yourself up to cultivate powerful interpersonal relationships. 

Conclusion - How Do You Spell Respect?

How to spell out respect for yourself and others?

Using the ideas listed here, you will already be well on your way to setting a sterling example.

Whether in life or in your profession, respect is something that can easily be earned (or spelt out!) by following these tenets closely.

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