Respect for others.... What is it? What's it look like? These are just a few words I've listed to remind us of what respect is all about.
R ... Stands for RECEIVE. We receive / accept people for who they are.
E ... Stands for EDIFY. We strengthen our brothers and sisters, we lift them up.
S ... Stands for SUPPORT. We show our support when they need it most.
P ... Stands for PATIENT. We're patient and enduring of others.
E ... Stands for ENCOURAGE. We encourage others to be their best.
C ... Stands for CARING. We care about them. They matter to us.
T ... Stands for THANKFUL. We're thankful for what they do for us.
As a business leader I've learned that when working with two groups of people... associates and customers, respect for each other is critical to the success of the business or organization. As the leader of the business I must have respect for and show respect for those I supervise and lead. As the leader of the business I must have respect for and show respect for the customers that frequent my establishment. If I ever fail to have RESPECT for either group of people... the business slides towards failure. Oh sure there are many other factors that can contribute to the ruin of a business, but without respect for people, you have no hope of success, even if you do everything else perfect.
You see we must realize and understand that we can not have an effective business without our associates. We also can not have a successful business without our customer base.
Mistreat either one, and you've shot yourself in the foot. Your wounded, you're not healthy anymore and even though your not dead... a time of healing must take place. That's just the way it is.
So how do we shoot our self in the foot? Well for one, we forget that we're only as successful as those we lead! The more we teach, the more we appreciate, the more we develop and encourage others to be their best, the better they perform and satisfy the needs of our customers. The worst thing that can happen to a leader is to shoot all of his help. I know it sounds silly... but leaders do it all the time. We shoot our help when we become disrespectful and fail to treat those we lead with respect. We talk down to them, we yell at them, we mistreat them, and we soon forget we needed them. When our associates feel that we don't value them anymore... you've shot yourself in the foot. You think your shooting them but your not... your shooting yourself. Your inflicting yourself with a wound that can be fatal.
Another way we shoot our self in the foot is to forget how important the customer is to our business. I'm amazed at how quickly we can become offended or upset with a customer, and without thinking we shoot our self right in the foot by forgetting that the customer is our Boss. I think this happens when we think it's our business and I'm the one that calls the shots around here, but that kind of thinking can get you killed! Everything we do in business we do to gain another customer. When we mistreat the customer, they leave and take their business somewhere else. No one in their right mind, would walk up to customers walking in their door and say, "Hey stop right there, you know I think you'd rather go down the street to the next business and let them take care of you there." Sounds silly doesn't it? Well we do this everyday when we fight or argue with customers. When we ignore customers, or when the customer senses that they are of no value to you. We don't smile, we're not helpful and we send that silent message that we wish you weren't here. It's like we feel the customer is interrupting our day or something... When we find our self feeling this way, we've lost our perspective on things and we've shot our self in the foot. Yes were wounded again.
You really want to inflict a fatal wound to your business? Then fail to show respect for both the associates and the customers at the same time. Now that's a recipe for disaster.
Look around at any business you go to and you'll see the signs of either respect or disrespect.
Are there happy faces on employees? Or are they disgruntled?
Do customers feel welcome there? Or would they rather get out as quickly as possible?
Do Managers appreciate their employees? Or are they reprimanding them in front of others?
Do you sense teamwork among the employees? Or a family feud?
Do you hear employees talking about others favorably or negatively?
Are the employees focused on you as the customer, or themselves?
Are the leaders setting a good example for the employees? Or are they taking advantage of their position?
You get the point! RESPECT is the key to success. Without it you've taken that key and locked the door.
My belief... My opinion... my experience... Respect begins at the top. If there is a lack of respect in the organization, then there's a lack of respect within the leadership of that organization. Everything rises and falls with the leadership. Is it no wonder when an organization fails the CEO is the first to go? Why do they always fire the head coach of a losing team? Think about it... the organization always reflects the leadership. You know the sad thing is this... none of us wake up in the morning planning to fail. We all want to achieve and perform. Sometimes however, we forget how important respect for the individual can be to our business? There's no room for lone rangers in the business world. We need each other to make it.
I write this as I see opportunities within my own organization. The challenge of course is to get everyone on board. Everyone understanding the importance of being respectful, especially as leaders. I think I'll share this posting with my management team in my next staff meeting as a reminder of how important respect is to the success of our business. I don't think we can be reminded enough, do you?