Throughout human history, respect has been a cornerstone of functioning societies. Social order arose from people’s respect for their leaders and gods. Highly respected people were protected from harm and given access to superior food, shelter, and other resources.
Respect, or success in influencing others, is also a basis for power. Powerful individuals are skilled at getting others to listen to them and to act in accordance with their opinions and desires. However, if these people lose respect, they also lose their influence.
In the workplace, respect is the foundation of engagement; employees engage when they feel respected and disengage when they feel disrespected. On a SuperTeam, it is critical to foster respect on both interpersonal and technical levels, and members must see each other as trustworthy, kind, and supportive in order to get the job done. There are ten respectful workplace behaviors that individuals should aspire to:
- Being punctual to meetings and considerate of others’ time.
- Giving credit where it is due.
- Being supportive of others during meetings.
- Encouraging the contributions of others during meetings.
- Giving full attention to others when they speak.
- Asking people before putting them on e-mail lists.
- Asking team members about their personal lives.
- Asking team members for advice.
- Offering to help other team members.
- Inviting coworkers to lunch.
Conversely, there are also ten common behaviors that communicate disrespect:
- Being late.
- Accusing or placing blame on others.
- Berating others.
- Being dictatorial.
- Being condescending.
- Withholding information or providing misleading information.
- Inappropriately copying others on e-mails.
- Dismissing others’ opinions.
The most extreme form of disrespect is bullying, a pattern of intimidating, threatening, and humiliating others that is estimated by the Workplace Bullying Institute to be experienced by 35 percent of workers. Unfortunately, bullies are often tolerated because they are viewed as valuable to their organizations. But for a SuperTeam to function effectively, it must hold bullies accountable for their actions. As soon as bullying behaviors occur, individuals must be confronted, spoken to, and stopped.