I find that it is a rare treasure to discover someone who’s lifestyle commands my respect.
I think we humans are naturally drawn to people who’s ideals mirror our own. And when we find someone who is living up to our ideals more successfully than we are, we tend to follow their example as best we can. When we find ourselves following someone’s way of living, it is usually a sign that something that person is doing has earned our respect.
I’ve sometimes seen leaders “demand” respect, while neglecting to do the things that would naturally earn the respect of others. What causes one person to be admired, but another person to be laughable? What causes a leader to assume that respect is the result of a position they hold, rather than a commendable lifestyle?
Mature leaders don’t “ask” for respect, they give it, and in turn, they earn it back. Immature leaders “ask” for respect because they don’t know how to earn it.
I’m sure there is a myriad of elements that could play into this.
I’ve begun to list out some basic “respect-worthy” traits, which all-too-often get lost in the shuffle of life.
This one is about consistency. Do you follow through with commitments? Do u make excuses for poor behavior? Do you “Forget” or “Not have time” to do what you promise?
Empathy notices the needs of other people and responds by doing something to meet those needs. It puts people before tasks.
Good judgment. Track record of making wise choices.
Believing in something so much it moves you to action. Passion puts dreams and ideas into motion, rather than allowing them become lot of talk that never amounts to anything.
Not self focused. Looks to impart wisdom to others. Doesn’t focus on the negative, but searches out the good in people. Takes the time to invest in others.
Doesn’t need to seek approval or attention, rather is able to give approval and attention to others. Seeks to be true, rather than to be liked. Takes initiative to make things happen. Welcomes feedback, accepts criticism, and doesn’t take negative comments personally.
Can walk through trials without becoming bitter towards people or life. Quickly forgives and moves on. Keeps sight of the big picture and isn’t distracted by pettiness.
These are just a few things that came to mind when I began to ask myself what traits seem worthy of respect. (And yes, I also chose these words because they start with letters that spell the word RESPECT).
What would you add to this list?
2 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”
Emily, this is seriously SO GOOD. I really like the nugget about being tested. Also, the part where you talked about accepting and receiving feedback and criticism without offense. Personally, the main things I respect most in leaders are stability (ties in with what you said about having a good track record) and vulnerability. To me, when I see that a leader is vulnerable it shows that they are not afraid of man and are honest with themselves.
So good. Vulnerability and stability are so vital.