As a child I was taught the importance of respect – we were taught showing respect for other people, showing respect for other’s cultures, showing respect for people’s position of authority, showing respect for a venue, showing respect for an event, etc. This principle was emphasized greatly in my home and it is something I have grown to value deeply. It has been a tremendous benefit to me in my business life, and in my personal life. It has also allowed me to be comfortable mingling in any situation and with any group of people, even at times when situations were extremely intimidating for me, because I knew that I would do okay so long as I applied the principles of respect that my parents taught me. From those experiences I have come to understand that being able to respect others helps you have more confidence yourself in every situation.
Trying to teach the importance of respect to other people, especially our own children…well these days it has become a bit more difficult. Especially when our children are being raised in a generation where respect has either not been taught, or if it has, it is not at all emphasized. Disrespect for elders, positions of authority, venues, cultures, events, etc. are all too widely accepted by young people. And as parents when you try to correct and teach them you typically get the eye rolling and the “you are just old school and don’t get it” response. The frightening fact is that our kids are growing up in a generation where entitlement is the norm and respect is not.
The saddest part is that kids who don’t learn respect as they are growing up end up entering the workforce only to get a rude awakening to the fact that success in the business world requires respect. Having respect in business requires that a person have respect for a boss, respect for a manager, respect for the company dress code, respect for being on time, respect for following through with commitments, respect for the values of the company, respect for the clients, respect for different cultures, respect for the work environment, respect for meetings and events, and the list goes on and on. Respect is essential if one desires to find any level of true success in business.
When a child is taught to act with respect in their home, and they choose to implement those teachings, they will be prepared to act with respect in the business world. If young people want to know what respect looks like, consider the following tips for how they show respect to their parents:
Be polite: Put down your cell phone and look your parents in the eye. Smile. Say hello. Say thank you. Say excuse me. Say I’m sorry. Be on time. Follow through when you make a commitment.
Don’t: Don’t roll your eyes or make rude comments under your breath. Don’t trash behind their backs. Don’t raise your voice and storm off. Don’t dig your heels in. Don’t complain. Don’t ignore.
Communicate: Hold conversations with your parents. Open up and share your problems, your fears, your worries. Ask for their advice and input. Share your goals and your achievements with them.
Listen: Realize that your parents have tremendous life experience and chances are they have been exactly where you are before and can give you advice on how to weather the storms and avoid the pitfalls. Value their input. Don’t let pride get in the way of listening and learning from those who have the knowledge to help you.
Be grateful: Notice everything your parents do for you. Appreciate the sacrifices they make on your behalf. Don’t take them for granted. Voice your appreciation on a regular basis. Be willing to go the extra mile for them. Keep in mind that they want what is best for you and they want you to succeed.
Every single one of those tips on how to respect parents can be applied directly toward how one should show respect in the business world. And I can tell you this -You show me a kid who treats their parents that way and I will show you an employee that any Boss would be thrilled to hire!
~Amy Rees Anderson (follow my daily blogs at www.amyreesanderson.com/blog)