I Don't Get No Respect!!!
Rodney Dangerfield made a great living by claiming "I don't get no respect!".
His typical one liners included such quotes as:
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them."
"I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio."
"With my dog I don't get no respect. He keeps barking at the front door. He don't want to go out. He wants me to leave."
We laugh at Rodney, but I can’t help but think that we are all a bit uncomfortable because deep down inside, respect is something that is one of humankind’s basic needs, right up there with shelter, food, and a strong wireless signal.
We crave respect.
Sometimes we demand respect.
According to Emerson Eggerichs, in his book “Love and Respect”, those of us with the Y chromosome actually desire being respected more than we desire being loved.
If it is such an innate desire, then why do we see so little of it in our world?
Check out the comment section on any news feed, look at our political parties, look at those who support a specific political party, look at inter-office dynamics, and since I’m writing this on Social Media, look at the lack of respect displayed in many online platforms. (Thankfully, the dynamics at beBee seem to have escaped much of this.)
It’s a wonder our kids believe anything we tell them.
We say ‘Respect your elders’, and then model behaviour that displays anything but.
Wouldn’t our personal and professional relationships be better if respect was woven through each encounter? (That’s a rhetorical question – of course they would be.)
Why do so many people feel that giving someone respect is the same as surrendering to their ideologies?
Why does partisanship trump respect? (No pun intended.) (Seriously.)
Why do we defend our position by tearing down others?
Is it that our own position can’t stand on its own merits?
Perhaps it was because I grew up in an area where there were approximately 100 people in 100 square miles, that we realized that although we differed on some things, we were in it together, and the concept of community made it better for each one of us.
So what does respect look like to me?
- Respect welcomes different ideas. It is okay to think differently. If we were all the same, we would all drive grey Jeep Cherokees, or we would all be dog people, or all vote for one political party. The real world is diverse, and that’s what makes it great.
- Respect positions the needs of the relationship, organization, community, or country above our own personal agendas.
- Respect works hard to give everyone the chance to be heard.
- Respect wants the best for others. It challenges ideas and ideologies that are hindering growth, or are destructive, hateful, and self-serving. This is not by shouting at people that they are wrong, but through persuasion and modelling of good behaviour. (Note: I really, really respect the people in my life who saw my potential and have called me out on these types of behaviour).
- Respect allows other people to be human – which I mean is a life full of foibles and mistakes.
When I show respect to my wife, my kids, my team at work, my neighbours, and other people in general, I find that the respect I so innately crave is returned.
Amazing how some things are so simple, yet so difficult.
So… until next post.
PS. There is no way I could write a post on R-E-S-P-E-C-T without including a link to this:
Image: Used under creative commons license.
About the Author:
I’m the AVP - Information Technology for Sheridan College, in Oakville, Ontario Canada, where my team is transforming the delivery of education through innovative application of technology.
I'm convinced that IT leadership needs to dramatically change how IT is delivered rather than being relegated to a costly overhead department.
In addition to transforming IT in my role as CIO, I look for every opportunity to talk about this... writing, speaking and now blogging on BeBee (www.bebee.com/@kevin-pashuk) , LinkedIn, ITWorld Canada, or at TurningTechInvisible.com.
I also shoot things... with my camera. Check out my photostream at www.flickr.com/photos/kwpashuk