Respect is such a lost value in today's culture, especially since the most recent presidential campaign. Its polarizing nature has brought out the worst in humanity.
If you're wondering how to show up with behaviors that earn respect, here are eight that will increase your tribe over time.
You make decisions that communicate, "I can be trusted."
A trustworthy person is a reliable person who makes fair and just decisions. Even when a decision is not popular amongst all parties, this person will command respect because, looking back in her heart of hearts, it was the best decision and the right thing to do at that particular time.
You display humility.
This often-misunderstood word first struck me in the context of leadership when Jim Collins mentioned it in his seminal book Good to Great. Collins basically said that the best leaders direct their ego away from themselves to the larger goal of leading their company to greatness. These leaders, as Collins determined in his study, gain an edge through displaying both fierce professional will and extreme personal humility. This paradoxical mix creates superb financial results.
You steward your money well.
Instead of blowing their money on lavish lifestyles and things that have no redeeming value, good stewards accumulate wealth and financially support causes that make the world a better place. Need an idea? Try giving to Charity: Water, a nonprofit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. We take drinking water for granted every single day. But get this: One in 10 people around the world lack access to clean water. Let's steward our finances well.
You speak from the heart to persuade others.
In ancient Hebrew, there's a Proverb that says, "The wise in heart will be called understanding, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness." Let me ask you: Ever sat down with a sage to get advice? This is a person who commands respect by discerning, from her heart, what's in yours. It's a person with gracious insight and common sense who speaks truth to you, unlike many others. Her natural speech and words instruct and teach, and she commands the presence of others in a room.
You are understanding (which also persuades).
This is part 2 of "speaking from the heart to persuade others." You see, being an understanding person means being an insightful person--having insight, gaining insight, or giving insight. You are able to connect by listening with the other person's feelings in mind (empathy), going below symptom-level to understand root causes. And when you speak from the heart, you impart knowledge and wisdom to others; your words are persuasive.
You have self-awareness, so you listen to advice.
Imagine going about your business thinking that "this is the right way," but realizing later you were miserably wrong. I see this in clients all the time, a tendency to plow ahead with "Lone Ranger syndrome," convinced they have all the answers. A person steeped in ignorance or stomping on the path of least resistance, without soliciting the advice of others--above and below his or her line of vision--is, simply, a fool by definition.
You are slow to anger.
A lack of self-control leads to many unwanted emotions, including unfiltered anger. Ask the CEO of Restoration Hardware Holdings, who last year went off on his whole company with a flaming internal memo written mostly with the caps lock on. Anger is one powerful, and quite normal, human emotion. But it needs to be expressed in a healthy way. There's a place and time for appropriate anger, and we all have to learn how to manage it, or it will manage us. In the end, it's best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry; for anger doesn't make us good.
You respect others back.
There's nothing more inspiring than working in a culture where people value the noble traits of respect and dignity, which increase collaboration and teamwork. Ask Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. When she took over as CEO in 2007, the company was in a bad financial place. She and her team made a conscious decision to create a new workplace (with rigorous measures) where people were treated with respect and dignity, yet challenged to perform at the highest level. As a result, silos were broken, franchisees began to listen, and collaboration increased because people were valued.