On this episode of The Wednesday Call, Andy Albright was back from Hawaii to host a brand new show that covered one of The Alliance’s 8 Core Values: Respect.
Andy was joined by Jeff Bright, who has been helping Andy cover all 8 values of The Alliance that will be a huge part of Andy’s forthcoming book later in 2018.
Validation + Courtesy + Diplomacy = Respect
Validation comes from being understanding and operating with empathy. Courtesy comes when a person is civil and shows great manners. Diplomacy is a result of humility and professionalism.
We claim that we want others to treat us with respect, and we need to show others respect. In the context of relating to the benefits of others, the most basic and fitting definition is to have “due regard” for the other person’s beliefs as they do for you.
“Due regard” means paying attention to another person’s beliefs. To regard something is to look at it. The Latin origin of the word respect also means to look back. Respect, therefore, is an observation. To respect a belief is to observe it and to acknowledge its existence. So you can simply respect someone’s beliefs merely by acknowledging that such beliefs exist.
“Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.” Thomas Paine
Validation (The “You are great or have value” stage): Be aware that if you are uncomfortable with intimacy, you may find validating others difficult because doing so brings you closer to them. People crave validation. Our perception of ourselves is inevitably shaped by the way others perceive and treat people. Validating words and actions build a sense of self-worth. Using validation before attempting empathy greases the track and makes it much easier to connect to another. Validation is like relationship glue.
Empathy (The “I never thought of it that way” stage): Our best responses to the presence of others in our lives are born of “considering the feeling.” Real empathy requires us to stay out of judgment and that’s difficult if we are not self-aware. If we can’t recognize the subtle, but important differences between disappointment and anger in ourselves, it’s virtually impossible to do it with others. Empathy isn’t just about engaging with someone and wanting to consider their truth for a moment in time. One of the greatest challenges we will face on this path to developing empathy will be to overcome the need to be right and judge others. Shame, fear and anxiety are all major incubators of judgment. We mistakenly believe we can escape the pressure of these three by judging others. This need to evaluate others comes from our own need to compare our abilities, beliefs and values against others. This need to compare can quickly turn into bias and prejudice if left unchecked. Prejudice is when you give your fears a name in the form of a stereotype. Fear of what, however, of the unknown or what we don’t understand.
Empathy doesn’t condone or accept a said behavior, it just recognizes another’s truth and considers why they feel the way they do. Empathy says to the other person that they have a right to their opinions. This is a vulnerable choice because it requires you to swallow your pride and leave your biases in the past.
Understanding (The “tell me more” stage): Our survival as a society and your success as a human being depends upon our ability to accurately understand and sensitively respond to each other. To mature is to gain a heartfelt understanding that others have value and are entitled to respect and consideration. This perspective will make it easier for you to say or do something meaningful. You want to show people that you value spending that moment with them. In order to be empathetic, we must be willing to follow up the consideration stage with recognizing and acknowledgement of the situation by experiencing through another’s lens. You must work hard not to see their stories through your own lens. This is called “perspective taking” or seeing the world through another or multiple lenses. Recognizing others’ perspective as their truth is the key ingredient to empathy as a way to finding common ground.
Courtesy: First we must clear up a difficult distinction between the word “polite” and the word “courteous.” Politeness is almost a ritual response like saying “please” and “thank you.” While courteous is more of an upbringing, refinement or graciousness gives birth to polite behavior. The refinement comes from being taught manners, which is an attribute that instills a belief that etiquette and decorum are essential in civilized society. The enemy of a courteous nature is the concept of rudeness. This is disrespect. To be unable or unwilling to align one’s behavior with the norms known to the general population of what is socially acceptable is to be rude. There are two types of rudeness: unfocused and focused. Unfocused is not directed at anyone special and is delivered without malice. Focused is directed at someone and is delivered with malice.
Manners: Conducting oneself appropriately with a well-cultured behavior due to a belief in prevailing customs and traditions. It is a way to pay reverence to existing and accepted social standards of decency. These codes of conduct are sometimes linked with word “morals.” Manners are the first step to morality. Etiquette is the first gesture of ethics. Manners cease to have meaning without morals and etiquette ceases to exist without them. Good manners are the rules of etiquette and good morals means one has the integrity to obey the rules.
The enemy of manners and etiquette is disrespect. This comes in the form of arrogance and hate.
Civility: civility comes from the word civilis, which in Latin means “citizen.” The way to measure this is to look at the quality of your response to the membership of society, community or organization. This is about the collective “we.” This suggests robust, even passionate, engagement framed in the respect of differing opinions and belief systems. Civility has to mean something more than mere politeness. It’s meaning is lost if all it accomplishes is to get people to say, “excuse me.” It must create an environment of constructive confrontation, a safe place where its members do not have to walk on eggshells. It should be a place with synergy and not cliques.
Diplomacy: The established method of influencing the decisions and behavior of people through dialogue and negotiation tactics. In order to take this best course of action, one must remain poised by being tactful and not react with negative rhetoric by choosing your words carefully. Know your audience before you speak. If being open to new ideas is tough for you, practiving diplomacy will result in failure.
Professionalism: Creating and maintaining a professional attitude in the workplace may help you earn the respect of your colleagues and clients. Your attitude while working can determine the quality of your professional relationships, affect your productivity level and cause an internal habit of work that will bleed into your private life, causing it to improve as well. Displaying a positive professional attitude requires you to think about and decide how you want to be perceived by others. Therefore, professionalism is an attitude adjustment aligned with an image.
Work ethic, integrity and self-motivation are the three ingredients of professionalism.
Humility: Humbleness is a condition that demands us to be respectful of others. It is the opposite of boastfulness and vanity. Rather than a “me first” attitude, it requires a “you first” attitude. Humility allows us to see the dignity and worth of having a professional attitude and promoting a more diplomatic strategy when trying to connect people to each other and the ideals that govern us. This humble demeanor cannot be practiced through arrogance and anger. We must respect all of our fellow human beings. Humility comes with the knowledge that “love conquers all” and transcends our own narrow interests. True wealth is only realized by humility and by the honoring of others.