Eric Harvey is the CEO of Walk the Talk Company. He is also a friend of mine. Walk the Talk has published four of my books.
Eric is a big acronym guy. The other day, I received an email from him discussing the importance of respect in relationship building. As you recall, relationship building is one of my keys to life and career success.
Check out Eric’s acronym on respect…
R RECOGNIZE the inherent worth of all human beings.
E ELIMINATE derogatory words and phrases from your vocabulary.
S SPEAK with people – not at them…or about them.
P PRACTICE empathy. Walk awhile in others’ shoes.
E EARN respect from others through respect-worthy behaviors.
C CONSIDER others’ feelings before speaking and acting.
T TREAT everyone with dignity and courtesy.
Tweet 124 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Everyone has something to offer. Never dismiss anyone out of hand. Take the initiative. Actively build relationships.” Or, treat everyone with respect.
Eric’s first and last points in his R E S P E C T acronym get at this quite well. “Recognize the inherent worth of all human being. Treat everyone with dignity and courtesy.”
Successful people have a deep respect for the dignity of each individual. It doesn’t matter if the person in front of you is the President of the United States, your boss, a co-worker, a taxi driver, a security guard or the housekeeper at your hotel.
My wife Cathy, is the best example of someone who values every person she meets. She is friends with everyone – the pharmacy techs where we get out prescriptions, the couple who own the dry cleaners where we do business, the supermarket checkout people and baggers, the servers at the restaurants we frequent, and on and on and on.
Cathy is genuinely interested in these people. She knows their names, their spouses’ names and their kids’ names. She inquires about their lives. She knows about their vacations, what grades their kids are in school and lots of other things about them – all because she values them as individuals and takes the time to get to know them. She is one of the least judgmental people I know.
If you want to create the life and career success you deserve, take a lesson from Cathy. Pay attention to the people around you. You will learn a lot — and your life will be richer for it. Don’t judge people by what they do. Get to know others as individuals. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.
I have had some very interesting conversations with taxi drivers in New York City. These days, most of them are immigrants. They love this country and are well informed about it. When I get into a taxi, most often the driver is listening to NPR or an all news station. I have had some great conversations about local and national politics, the state of the US economy, and sports with taxi drivers.
In Denver, I occasionally use a car service to go to and from the airport. This service is a cooperative. The members of the coop are all immigrants from Ethiopia. They were all political refugees. They love this country and are willing to discuss it in depth. I love my rides to and from the airport with them.
And, I learned something very interesting. Ethiopia was a Catholic country until the schism in 1066. The Ethiopian Church sided with the Eastern Church in Constantinople and broke with Rome. I was raised Catholic, but my father’s parents were Orthodox Christian, or “Russian Orthodox” as we called them. In that tradition they celebrate Christmas on January 7 because they use a different calendar.
I remember having two Christmases when I was young. I always got a small present on January 7. Imagine my surprise when a guy from Africa told me that he couldn’t drive me to the airport on January 7 because he chose to stay at home and celebrate Christmas with his family. This led to a very interesting discussion on how Ethiopia participated in the schism.
See what I mean about treating everyone as if he or she has something to offer? I never would have learned some valuable information about how similar the life experiences of a black guy from Ethiopia were to my own growing up had I not taken the time to engage this person in conversation – to value his worth as a human being.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people respect others. They follow the career advice in Tweet 124 in Success Tweets. “Everyone has something to offer. Never dismiss anyone out of hand. Take the initiative. Actively build relationships.” Following this career advice will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve. More important, it will lead to a richer and fuller life. When you engage people, when you expect to find them to be interesting, you will open yourself up to a world of ideas that will not only help your career success, you will be helping yourself succeed as a person.
That’s my take on Eric Harvey’s career advice about respect. RECOGNIZE the inherent worth of all human beings. ELIMINATE derogatory words and phrases from your vocabulary. SPEAK with people – not at them…or about them. PRACTICE empathy. Walk awhile in others’ shoes. EARN respect from others through respect-worthy behaviors. CONSIDER others’ feelings before speaking and acting. TREAT everyone with dignity and courtesy. What are your thoughts on this career advice? Please take a minute to share them with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my musings on life and career success.