Treating all people with kindness and respect
What is it?
Treating others with respect means that no matter how we feel about another person, whether we like them or dislike them and no matter how they have treated us, we first and foremost treat others with dignity and consideration.
Why is it important?
At the end of the day, people always want to feel respected – but especially in their workplace or when receiving medical attention. An environment of respect can lead to trust, more effective communication, smoother coordination, and a positive overall work environment. By contrast, when people feel like they have been put down or disrespected, they may become irritated and resentful. When that happens, people also tend to criticize, become passive aggressive, or create other undesirable outcomes.
- Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt
Learning not to judge others is crucial – whether patients 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 may mean striving to understand a patient who makes choices you don’t think you would make, or it could mean embracing a co-worker whose approach to client-patient interaction is different from yours. 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.
- Show Regard For Authority
Finally, you should be extra careful to show respect to those who have been employed longer or who have seniority over you. Bosses, managers, and supervisors, especially, should be respected for their leadership positions. That means not only showing respect when they are present but also speaking mindfully of them (or not at all) when they are not present. It’s easy to criticize leaders without knowing the stresses and challenges of their position.