I was watching a Gerard Butler movie last night – “Law abiding citizen” – with my wife and a big part of the story was about respect. Now if you watch the movie, I don’t expect anyone to go to the same extremes, but it shows how important respect is.

Respect is something that has to be earned, it can’t be demanded and it has to be a two way thing. In order for us to get respect from others, we have to show respect and as in so many things in life, we have to be the ones to give before we receive. It starts from an early age. We have to respect our children for them to understand how to respect themselves and how to respect others. Then they will respect us. Generally those that have no self respect will never show respect to others and no one will respect them. 

It is one of those little words that has a massive impact on who we become in life as we grow into adults. We will have all seen far too many parents, teachers and bosses who demand respect –  people with attitudes like this will never be leaders, and will just push people away.

I am 64 years of age and have seen a marked difference in respect from when I was growing up. So many people today seem to lack it in every area of their lives. A big issue for me are those who do not respect peoples time and money. Its really not a difficult thing to get a grip of. I see it so much in tradespeople especially who make an appointment to turn up at a customers house at say 10am, and then rock up at 2pm without a care in the world. This is totally disrespectful and the damage these tradespeople do to their business could be massive. They could lose a great deal of business to those who do turn up on time – and they deserve to. Its the same with money. Do not disrespect peoples money. Don’t overcharge your customers. You may win in the short term but guarantee you will not win in the long term.  If you owe someone money pay it back and pay it back on time. Do not use excuses. Its the easiest way to lose friends. 

Respect is a little word but can make a massive difference in so many ways. Here are 7 ways to be respectful:

  1. Listen and be present. … 2 ears and one mouth 
  2. Be thoughtful of others’ feelings. … do not think just about yourself
  3. Acknowledge others and say thank you. … such an easy thing to do & puts a smile on someone’s face
  4. Address mistakes with kindness. … don’t cover up mistakes, be honest. You win big time
  5. Make decisions based on what’s right, not who you like. …always do the right thing
  6. Respect physical boundaries. …this is more apparent in current times
  7. Live and let live…. After all said and done do the best you can and move on

 To build a successful life and business, respect is just one of many areas we need to constantly be aware of. When you are respectful of everybody and everything, it makes you feel good about yourself and makes others feel good about you and about themselves

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 16/08/2021