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Facilitating A Respectful Workplace Culture

Welcome to Premium Consulting - Delivering People Solutions Organisations that embrace respect for people as one of their guiding values outperform their competitors in almost every area. They attract and retain better talent, they innovate faster, they serve and satisfy their clients more effectively, and they adapt to changing economic and competitive climates more quickly. Further, leaders who embrace respect as a core value facilitate these advantages. They are more trusted, more influential, and more effective at fully leveraging their organisations' human assets.

The first step for building and sustaining respectful workplaces is to get a consensus for taking action. It is recommended to conduct a climate or culture survey that quizzes employees about the presence and absence of behaviours specifically associated with respect in the workplace, such as listening, supporting, helping, showing patience, being available, being trustworthy, and being courteous.

Organisations can follow rules of respect that are powerful at positively affecting how people perceive both others and themselves when interacting. These include the following guidelines.

Be aware of your nonverbal and extra-verbal cues.
Even more critical than the actual words we use are the countless nonverbal and extra-verbal cues we employ to deliver those words. No matter how respectful our actual words, behaviours such as yelling, eye-rolling, head-shaking, interrupting, sighing, avoiding eye contact and frowning will undermine them.

Develop curiosity about the perspectives of others.
We all have unique perspectives, but often don't bother to consider where other people are coming from. Empathy is demonstrated when it becomes evident to others around us that we are interested in what they think, why they think it, and how they feel about it. When this happens, it becomes easier to communicate respect to others, even if we disagree with them.

Assume that everyone is smart about something.
While assumptions can sometimes get us into trouble, there is one that usually doesn't. We are all smart through different histories and life experiences, and it pays to acknowledge that.

Become a better listener by shaking your 'but'.
The danger with using the word 'but' when discussing different ideas and perspectives is that it negates whatever came before it. A better approach is to say something like, "I hear what you're saying, and it makes a lot of sense," and then repeat a point of interest before adding "at the same time..." and stating your view.

Never hesitate to say you are sorry.
Disrespectful behaviours that harm us are immediately sent to long-term memory where they are stored for future reference. Until we get into the habit of consistently holding ourselves accountable for how we treat others, saying that we're sorry in public demonstrates courage of the highest order. Publicly admitting that we've behaved poorly and expressing remorse for our actions displays vulnerability and humanness that actually make us more effective leaders.