RESPECT – A Power Word for Every Day

February 25, 2016 – Jayne Albiston

BoB_Power_Word_Respect (Custom)

This year we have 24 key words that we are applying directly to our business. They have particular meaning because we have taken them from our personal collection of words that we use to inspire and drive our lives forward.

In no particular order, I will be commenting on one of these words every couple of weeks and they will appear in our company newsletter each month. These comments are my own and I would welcome any additional insight, inspiration or feedback that you may have on them, including any experiences that you may have had along your business journey so far.


The second word is RESPECT…

When thinking on the word, respect a few things come to mind straight away. Firstly the thought that we all like to be treated with respect and secondly that we all like to be respected and we often enjoy respecting someone else.
The interesting thing is that the definition of respect in the dictionary has those two meanings of respect round the other way.  It has the feeling of ‘deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements’ first and ‘due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others’, second.

I would like to suggest that the dictionary has the meanings listed in the wrong order and even go so far as to say that perhaps it is actually our focus often on the first dictionary meaning that has resulted in a lack or absence of the second dictionary meaning and perhaps it is time we focused on re-prioritising how we embrace respect and proactively include it in our personal and business relationships and lives.

I have very rarely met anyone who has respect, as in deep admiration, for someone who does not exhibit or display due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others. In my personal and business experience, physically showing respect for the way in which you treat someone (the second dictionary meaning) is an absolute pre-requisite to building a successful relationship of any sort and not showing respect can do insurmountable damage in a heartbeat.

There is an old saying that is often repeated in both personal and business circles; Treat others as you would have them treat you. We know it and many of us practice it. Ever since becoming an iMA Practitioner 4 ½ years ago and learning that actually only about 25% of the world is really on the same wavelength as me in terms of how they prefer to be treated, my mantra has changed quite dramatically. I now live by ‘Treat others as they would like to be treated’, which more often than not is very different to how I would like to be treated,  given that when it comes to communication and connectivity, 75% of the world is on a different wavelength than I am.

This has a huge impact on what it means to show ‘respect’ in terms of having due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others. Even though  we all communicate and connect in many ways each day, at our core, all of us have a preferred way of being treated. It naturally follows that that preferred way of being treated is also our most natural way of treating others and communicating with them (possibly stemming from the idea that it is best to treat others as we would like to be treated).  How shocked I was to learn and realise that all those times I had treated someone else the way I would want to be treated, many times I was getting it very wrong and even rubbing them up the wrong way simply by being myself. What I considered to be respectful of their feelings was not and how I thought they wanted to be treated was not taken or received in the way that I had intended.  In short, I had been disrespectful, just by being my natural self.

It has been an incredible eye opener for me over the past few years to learn tangible, simple strategies through iMA (identify a person’s preferred way of communicating and being treated, modify your message so it is more effectively received and adapt to and appreciate the differences in others) to enable me to learn how to really show respect for others. It will take me a life time of practice but I now have the skills to be able to show respect in the way I connect and communicate with others. This is, in my opinion, the crucial first step to building both personal and business relationships and getting to know, like and trust someone. If we are putting the definitions of respect in their true order, showing regard for others should definitely come first.

This second word respect is an extremely important one and my constant challenge is to put it first in every interaction I have, whether personal or business. How about you?


Jayne Albiston
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand