While The Shuler Group has its core values, I also have my own set of core values: authenticity, connection, and sacred space. Recently, I’ve added the concept of my own personal moral code to the list of values that help define me.
That may seem odd to hear… Some may never even think about their moral code. It’s so ingrained in them, or their belief system holds that space for them. That has been true for me. I’d like to think that I know the difference between right and wrong, what is acceptable and what isn’t, and how to treat people.
However, something came up that put my moral code right in front of my face.
It’s about respect.
A lovely friend and colleague shared with me that she observes that I am DRIVEN to be treated with respect as well as to treat others with respect.
I have to admit that her observation took me aback a little. Driven? That word almost gives this a sense of urgency or even demand.
And she was right.
In personal confrontations, I have told the other person, “I don’t deserve to be treated that way.” While the word “respect” doesn’t show up in that statement, that’s the underlying meaning.
Even in professional circumstances, this has cropped up. A vendor who was giving us a “sweetheart deal” (his words) told me that I could get mature and pay the price that everyone else does. My immediate response was, “Either you want to work with us, or you don’t. If you do, then don’t treat me like that.” (I actually used a slightly different phrase :), but you get the gist.)
As consultants working with our clients, the term of respect also comes up in the work we do with teams in organizations. Someone feels disrespected and doesn’t speak up. So, we coach and train them on how to speak up (respectfully and graciously) and move the conversation and the situation forward. And in our consulting and coaching, we hear ourselves telling our clients, “You deserve to be treated with respect,” as well as, “Treat others with respect.”
So, yes, the concept of respect is in my face, and I’m grateful for the clarity of how very crucial this particular piece of my moral code is for me.
On a final note, I see a lack of respect in much of the political divisiveness going on in our country right now. People on both sides of their political beliefs call the other side out, sometimes in very stereotypical terms. “Conservatives do this….” or “Liberals do that…” Honestly, that very stance is disrespectful. It’s disrespectful of a belief system in general, and it’s disrespectful of individuals who may or may not fit that stereotype.
What would it look like if we all took a step back, considered our beliefs and thoughts, and then decided to take a step forward with respect?