Think Tank Thursday: How to Give, Earn and Get Back Respect

“We’ve all had that feeling. Someone doesn’t seem to be listening to what we say. We make requests of others and we’re ignored. Pretty soon, feathers are ruffled and we find ourselves frustrated over the lack of respect we seem to be receiving. While we like to think it’s easy to have a great relationship with everyone we meet, if you pay attention to these subtle cues, you may find everything isn’t as peachy as it might seem.

Boundaries aren’t just crossed—they’re completely ignored.

Boundaries are very important for any kind of relationship, be it professional or personal. They help us set specific guidelines for how we expect others to interact with and treat us. Boundaries can be influenced by a number of things, from our upbringing to our worldview, and they help us define the types of relationships we want in our lives. When the people around us run roughshod over those boundaries, it is a clear indication that respect has been lost.

Remember, boundaries can be tricky. Oftentimes, we don’t even know we have a particular boundary until someone crosses it. If we aren’t getting the respect from others we feel we deserve, it is up to us to create clear boundaries that define how we wish to be respected and treated. For instance, every member of The ONE Thing team puts together a quick list of “Honest Expectations” to help us convey our boundaries with one another. Take a moment and write down your own expectations of how other people should work with you, then share them with the people around you. That way, there is little confusion when it comes to how you want to be treated by others.

Communication becomes disrespectful.

There are all types of communication from verbal to nonverbal, and how we communicate with someone can give a clear indication about our feelings for them. Being polite in conversation, listening attentively and allowing others to speak are all clear indications of respect. Coworkers speaking over you, someone rolling their eyes when you say something, or your boss discussing something with you in a disrespectful tone are all indicators that there is a clear lack of respect for you as a person.

Communication is a key component to any relationship, and a communication breakdown can lead to personal and professional strife. If someone is responding to you with disrespectful communication cues, take a step back and analyze the situation. Sometimes a breakdown can occur when two people have different communication styles. Maybe your coworker is responding poorly simply because you haven’t conveyed something in a manner they appreciate or understand. Try to make sure you’re doing your best to interact with them in a thoughtful, respectful way and see if that improves the situation. If not, take them aside and try to have an honest conversation with them using respectful communication. Give them a set of standards for discussing things with you, and ask them to share their own. That way, future communication can be complication or misunderstanding free!

You no longer respect yourself.

It seems a given that we all respect ourselves, but sometimes our own negative thoughts can impact the way we view ourselves. Having a healthy dose of self-respect is an important part of success. Not having any self-respect is probably a good indicator that other people don’t respect you either. In many ways, we model how other people feel or think about us. Occasional self-deprecation is one thing, but if we spend too much time vocally tearing ourselves down, that will influence how other people start to perceive us. And the more we allow others to disrespect us, the more we open ourselves to disrespect.

If you feel as though you’ve lost the respect of others, the important thing to do is take a moment to re-evaluate both yourself and that relationship. Acknowledge your own awesomeness. While we are all fallible, we still all deserve respect. But self-respect starts from within. Finding that inner core of strength will in turn influence how others respond and treat you, give you confidence, and help you win the R-E-S-P-E-C-T (just a little bit) you deserve.”

—Source: http://www.the1thing.com/. Gary Keller is the founder and chairman of the board for Keller Williams Realty, the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count. Jay Papasan co-authored the bestselling Millionaire Real Estate series with Gary Keller, as well “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.” He is a former editor at Harper Collins Publishers.