Tuesday, April 18 2023

Aretha Franklin’s song ‘Respect‘ was an anthem for the feminist and civil rights movements throughout the 1970s. It is a testament to what commitment and determination can accomplish. Respect is also at the heart of every trusting business relationship. It allows for enhanced communication and the sharing of ideas with both internal and external customers. It will generate greater results.


Think of respect as the hub of a wheel, holding the spokes in place. The spokes represent the respectful behaviours that create a strong environment of trust. The rim of the wheel is the trust that develops between people. Without respect (the hub) the behaviours (the spokes) will not develop, and trust will never be strong.

The essential components integral to respect are:

Empathic Listening

Listen to understand what someone is communicating. Empathic Listening goes beyond knowing what is being said, because it:

  • Appreciates how they are feeling and understands the underlying message.
  • Uses more than just ears.
  • Requires observing body language, relaxing, focusing on the person, concentrating not multi-tasking, and being silent until the person has finished communicating their thoughts.


Coach for success rather than policing for failure. Incorporate both formal and informal coaching into your daily routine.

Learning Styles

Accept that some people process information quickly and come to decisions faster, while others process more slowly and need more time to analyze information. Some individuals process by talking, which can be frustrating to those who think quickly.


Let people know in advance when commitments cannot be met.


No hidden agendas or manipulation.


Keep people in the loop, share information that is important to the individual.

Other’s Time

Consider other’s time and what they have already scheduled before delegating.


Deal constructively with conflict in a timely manner. Address the issues without making it personal. Accept that when people are growing, mistakes may happen. Use these as a learning opportunity.

Decision Making

Decisions should be made with input from those most affected by the change. Tap into the knowledge and expertise of team members.

Differences in Values

Not everyone has your values, so while you may feel it is acceptable to work on the weekend, others may believe it is family time. Understand what motivates each individual member of your team. Get to know people at a deeper level. Treat people as they would like to be treated.

Make sure we respect differences in others. Creating a team that will carry a company forward requires understanding and flexibility on the part of the leader. Consider the needs of the team members and treat them accordingly. Come from a place of respect and behave accordingly, and for inspiration, here is Aretha’s spin on respect.