The Entity of Respect

TAGS: respect, Elitefts Legacy Log, Elitefts Info Pages, training

Following my article, “The Age of the Perpetually Entitled,” there was a common theme to the emails that I received. The point made in these emails was that most, if not all, of the “entitled” lack respect yet expect to be respected by their peers. This is a common and recurring issue in athletics and in the workplace.

Respect is something that is earned over duration of time. How is respect earned? It is earned by showing up on time, listening intently, displaying a solid work ethic, and being thorough in all that you do on a daily basis. “On time” means arriving five to ten minutes before your shift or training session begins, not be-bopping in while everyone around you is already training or working. When beginning a new job, you should clearly know what is expected of you, and if you don’t know, ask. In other words, know your role. Don’t sit and wait for everyone to show you what to do as if you’re four-years-old learning skills for the very first time.

Respect is also earned by going above and beyond what is expected of you without expectation of anything in return for doing it. This also means that you shouldn’t stand around bitching, complaining, and making statements such as, “That’s not my job.” It means that occasionally you will have to perform duties that are outside your scope of responsibility.

My boss earned my instant respect by helping me do a job that was above and beyond both of our job descriptions. We work in a hospital health and wellness center, and one of our members fell ill (this happens often enough). In short, he dropped a huge mound of poop on our carpeted floor while trying to get to the bathroom. He made a mess of our floor, and worse, he made a mess of himself. Together, my boss and I cleaned it up right away and helped this man as if he were our own parent because he is someone’s parent. We thought about how we would want our parents to be treated under such circumstances. Had we instead waited for housekeeping staff to arrive to do this job, other folks would have most likely stepped into this mess and tracked it all over the building.

In short, we didn’t waste time complaining about it, pouting, or trying to find someone else to pass the job on to. We simply got it done. We earned the respect of one another and the rest of our staff, and our members all watched how such a situation was handled. All of our staff respects our boss because there is absolutely nothing that we are asked to do that he wouldn’t do himself. That is a huge way to earn respect.

In the workplace, like the gym, respect is earned through hard work and by treating others with the respect that you’d like to be the recipient of. There is a huge difference between having respect for someone or something and treating that someone or something with respect. You don’t have to have respect for someone to treat them with respect. Being adult enough to openly state your feelings face to face is a huge way to earn respect.

I had a coworker whom I absolutely couldn’t stand. He was the embodiment of everything that I despise in the workplace. I sat him down face to face, looked him in the eye, and said, “I don’t like you. I don’t care if you don’t like me. I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to make progress and help people who are in need of our services. Unless it has to do with our job, we have absolutely nothing to say to each other.” I got his rapt attention with this opening statement, and from there, I directly outlined our job expectations. From that day on, I had his respect because I didn’t run around behind his back telling everyone but him how I felt about him and his lack of ethic. I dealt with him directly, and I’m sure it was appreciated because we were able to coexist. Further, my coworkers saw how I handled working and coexisting with him and were impressed by my frankness. This is an example of how to earn respect by not acting like a child but instead directly addressing an issue of clashing personalities and work ethics.

Hard work and taking pride in a job well done almost seems like a lost art today. This is mostly because of the respect factor. To earn the respect of your coworkers or training partners, show up on time, quit complaining, put the needs of your group or organization above yourself, be a better listener (too many people love to listen to themselves and leave no room to hear anything that others are telling them), admit when there is something you don’t have the answer to rather than bullshit your way through it, and treat others with respect. The aforementioned is the surest way to earn respect!

Loading Comments... Loading Comments...