Everyone wants respect. Whether it is in a professional setting or a personal setting, we want respect. We want to be respected by our family and our peers. In the professional setting a person feels he/she should be respected because of their position, but that it is not always the case. In a family, it is a little different, because the structure is different. A family structure has the authority of the parents, but that still does not mean that it carries respect.
Respect is earned it is not given or declared. You cannot legislate or dictate respect. To earn it takes time and patience. Note the things mentioned below:
1- Longevity – Patience truly is a virtue. It comes with experience and time. Most people are quitters because they do not want to do the hard things. It is easier to quit and start over than it is to stay at the same place through thick and thin. Some people change jobs so many times in a year, UPS has to deliver their W-2 forms in a box. Every time you want to quit, stop and look around at those who have. It will give clarity to your decision.
2- Consistency – Longevity comes through consistency. If respect is earned, and it is, it comes through learning to staying at it no matter what. Every time someone needs you, you are there. When others are inconsistent, you are there. Those around you, above you, and beneath you, will soon sense a reassurance that they can count on you. This comes with respect.
3- Productivity – No one likes a quitter, and no one likes a lazy person. You may be slower than others, you may lack creativity, but if you are a hard worker you will earn respect. Consistent hard work will produce every time. Some people are fast to start but cannot finish. Their inconsistency kills their productivity. Remember the tortoise and the hare? It doesn’t matter how fast you start, it only matters who crosses the finish line. Stay at it and soon you will look back and see a string of successes, and that breads respect.
4- Seniority – This thought builds on the last point. As a leader your respect level rises through seniority that is natural, not demanded. One older gentleman approaching 100 years old was asked how he had handled all the people who had given him trouble through the years. His answer was, “I outlived them all.” If you are not a quitter, over time you will realize that you have become the senior in the room.
5- Credibility – Obviously, nothing I have mentioned will bring respect without credibility. Credibility comes through proving yourself. I think of things like honesty and integrity. Just because you have been around longer than everyone else does not mean you have credibility. You have to shine when it is the darkest. You have work when it is the hardest. You have to do right when everyone else is doing wrong. Credibility is the white elephant in the room. It is not something you talk about, but it is something everyone knows is there.
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