Treating all people with kindness and concern
WHAT IS IT?
Treating others with respect means that no matter how we feel about another person, whether we like them or dislike them, whether we agree with them or disagree with them, whether they have treated us with kindness or contempt, we first and foremost treat others with dignity and consideration.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
At the end of the day, clients and coworkers want to feel respected – in their workplace and especially when soliciting help. Showing respect can lead to trust, smooth coordination, and positive overall work environment. By contrast, when people feel as though they have been put down or disrespected, they become irritated and resentful. When that happens, they will either avoid you, criticize you, or become passive aggressive with you. This can harm your personal career or overall firm success.
- Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt
Learning not to judge others is crucial – whether clients or coworkers. We don’t know what they are going through or what problems they are wrestling with. We don’t know why they do the things they do. If someone is snarky or sassy, chalk it up to them having a bad day rather than making character judgments. Let the interaction roll off your back. We would certainly want others to do the same for us.
- Appreciate Differences
Second, appreciate perspectives that are different from yours. This might mean listening to a client who has a different approach to the way meetings should be run, or it could mean hearing out an attorney who would have approached a case differently. Instead of feeling threatened by people who look or think differently than you, figure out what you can learn from them. Different perspectives help us broaden our thinking and expand our awareness.
- Be Humble in Your Authority
Especially as a mid-level or senior-level attorney, it is attempting to disregard the opinions of anyone lower than you on the totem pole. Be humble and show equal consideration for everyone you interact with in your workspace. Each unique person has something to offer, and people can immediately sense being looked down upon. Showing regard for all people means, no matter their level, being considerate to their faces as well as when they are not present. It’s easy to be condescending toward others when you are in a seat of longevity or authority, but we must be careful to avoid it.