Respect

How Can You Earn Respect?

Always have courage to speak up, if and when something is important enough not to be kept quiet about. Direct confrontation is often better than sweeping challenges under a rug. Just make sure to prepare well: all communication is negotiation. The better you are at negotiating, the easier it gets to communicate and to make progress towards a common goal. If someone is blocking communication and ignoring you there is very little you can do except for focusing upon yourself and your goals. Walking away from a specific situation is sometimes the best thing you can do. When someone disrespects you, the problematic behavior starts with them. Do not give in to people who manipulate.
 
If your counterpart is unable to rise up to a respectful way of communication, cut ties. They will come back once they have grown up to be able to communicate respectfully and if not, count your blessings. You do not need disrespectful or manipulative people in your inner circle, or around you at all for that matter. Although it is a fact that social interactions take place everywhere, and you will always encounter different types of people with different kinds of personalities. 
Quite frankly, respect in itself does NOT have to be earned. Of course, an individual can be respected for her/his specific achievements, qualifications or position in life. We can respect the elderly for their life experiences and a hopefully grown wisdom during their lengthy lives. Respect is often culturally related, or tied to organizational hierarchies although it may in fact be a threat to democracy if someone is being respected only for their position. Position in itself should not alone be tied to respect. In democracies, people in positions of authority MUST be approachable and we must at all times have the opportunity to question things of importance. The ME TOO-movement that led to thousands of girls and women (and, some men too!) to finally speaking up about for instance occurred discrimination and sexual harassment is a good example of how common disrespectful behavior is even in (Western) democracies.

Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their material status or position in life.

Showing respect only to people with influence or those with a high social status is endangering both our personal development as human beings, as well as a democratic society where everyone should have an equal voice, and an equal right to express opinion without fear of various threats. This is a topic that can and should be discussed from many different angles and with many different perspectives. We know that restrictions in terms of freedom of speech and having to fear expressing your opinions are in fact commonly violated human rights in most parts of the world.
In interpersonal relationships, a lack of respect usually includes behaviors whereby one individual constantly breaks or pushes another person´s boundaries. This can relate to the fact that the individual in general is unaware of what is respectful behavior and what is not, a complete lack of awareness and a high amount of ignorance for the well-being of other human beings, or quite frankly the fact that certain types of personalities actually do enjoy to push and to break boundaries on purpose just to see how far they can get with their manipulative behavior. This is unfortunately not something that only children do. Many adults, unless taught how to behave and kept in place through consistent discipline and self-management, are experts at breaking and pushing boundaries. Such behaviors must never be tolerated.
Disrespectful behavior and a disregard for, or a violation of, another individual´s boundaries can be identified through following examples:
– Poor interpersonal communication and/or a complete ignorance of someone else´s needs or wants.
– Self-centeredness and one-sided relationships. A lack of interest in other human beings. (Only seeing oneself).
– Poor or non-existing listening skills. Many people are unfortunately poor listeners. They have a constant need to express their opinions and make themselves heard without ever hearing what other people have to say.
– Not responding. Not responding to e-mails, texts, or phone calls. Not calling back. If someone does this to you, leave them alone.
– Putting words in someone else´s mouth. Thinking you know what is best for them. Making decisions for other people without asking them or caring about their opinion.
– Belittling or minimizing someone else´s accomplishments or experiences.
– Gaslighting behavior.
– Pretending to be stupid or asking you to behave in their preferred way (remember that you are an individual, not an extension of anyone else! Nor are you anyone´s puppy or slave.
– Bullying, gossiping and spreading rumours. You can be certain of the fact that people who gossip about other people to you are also doing this behind your back.
– General manipulative behaviors, such as sugar coating the truth or lying (to your face), constantly making fun of you – especially about sensitive matters that they know are of importance to you, cynical comments and sarcasm directed at you, and at your expense. If you speak up about these, they come up with explanations and accuse you of being overly sensitive or that you are imagining things (gaslighting).
Many disrespectful and manipulative behaviors and tactics can be so subtle and slowly creep into any relationship that we fail to take action or notice the red flags. The better you know what is appropriate and what is inappropriate behavior and communication, the faster can you take action and terminate unwanted behaviors or even the whole relationship.

Unfortunately, you cannot force people to respect you but you can refuse to be disrespected!

Knowing your boundaries and not giving your power away to other people is the best way to stay intact from toxic or manipulative behavior. Self-respect and knowing one´s worth as a human being are the easiest and fastest ways of earning other people´s respect too. Confident people know how to say no. Confident people are assertive. Confident people speak up. Confident people know their truth. Confident people do not get swayed easily, although they know how to bend and stay flexible if appropriate.

Be confident. Be assertive. Be strong.

Anne-Maria Yritys 13.2.2019

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Related posts: 

What Makes Trust So Important?

Beware of Online Scammers!

 

 

 

What Makes Trust So Important?

It is all about trust. In business, friendships, family, and all kinds of relationships. If people trust you, they’ll do business with you. Depending upon culture, it may take years to build that trust. And, trust can be ruined in a matter of seconds.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you´ll do things differently. Warren Buffett 

Wise words to live by.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow´s hierarchy of needs (1943), human beings all have five common basic needs in life:

  1. Safety and or survival
  2. Food and other basic physiological needs
  3. (Social) belonging and love
  4. Respect and purposefulness (esteem)
  5. Freedom and self-actualization

In building trust with other human beings, we must have trust in ourselves. A lack of trust in self, in other words fear-based actions and self-doubt, can be disastrous for both our own lives and for our interaction with other human beings. To succeed in business and life, we have to understand the basics of human behavior and the basics of human needs, and most preferably some psychology. Why?

According to Harvard Business Review: The 3 Elements of Trust, employees expect leaders to create and to maintain trust through positive relationships, using good judgment/expertise and consistency. Which one of these do you think is most important?

The most single important factor in terms of building and maintaining trust in any relationship is respect. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of any external or internal attributes. Showing respect to people goes a long way. On the other hand, a lack of respect quickly leads to mistrust and a complete destruction of the relationship since the lack of respect usually leads to manipulative communication and negotiation tactics and breaking other people´s boundaries.

Never violate boundaries unless you are willing to risk the entire relationship. Never use manipulative tactics when negotiating with people. An experienced negotiator who is knowledgeable about human nature will quickly see through these kinds of tactics, and leading conversations or any kinds of interactions in such a manner will not only endanger your whole negotiation but also complicate the future of the interaction and/or relationship. To build and to maintain trust, it is hence essential to learn how to respect your counterpart. Learn how to listen, and learn how to become a naturally powerful communicator.

In “The Power of a Positive No” (2007), one of the world´s leading experts on negotiation and mediation William Ury gives his readers concrete tools for not only becoming better communicators but in fact also for learning how to succeed in negotiations and how to manage conflicts in constructive rather than destructive ways. He explains the importance of a positive NO, and how anyone can learn how to say no without ruining whole relationships. Ury´s teachings also include situations where the only right thing to do is to withdraw from a negotiation, or to end a (business/personal) relationship.

After all, it all begins and ends with self-respect and knowing one´s boundaries. How can you expect to maintain healthy and productive relationships unless you know how to respect yourself and your boundaries? It is far healthier to say NO in a direct or constructive way than to violate your personal values through people-pleasing or other kinds of fear-based activities/reactions. Healthy and strong people cannot easily be manipulated. They know their worth. They know how to say NO. Sometimes, in very powerful ways.

When you know your value(s) and what you want to achieve (goals), accomplishing these through determination and preparedness is so much easier. Despite of any circumstances, make sure not to victimize yourself or fall into pity ploy. Get rid of any unhealthy habits and ways of communication. This may sometimes be easier said than done. After all, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. When you learn from past experiences and focus upon being present in the now, and in various kinds of human interactions you can develop and improve both your general communication skills as well as your abilities as a negotiator or even mediator. These skills are always in high demand, regardless of profession or life situation.

In order to build and maintain trust, be trustworthy. Be consistent. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Anne-Maria Yritys 6.2.2019

 

 

How Can You Be Truly Convincing?

“By 2029, computers will have emotional intelligence and be convincing as people”. (Ray Kurzweil, Brainyquote.com. 12.11.2014)

Do you believe in a future where computers have emotional intelligence? Can emotional intelligence be integrated into computers, when not even all human beings are capable of maximizing their potential in terms of emotional intelligence? 

If you have ever worked in sales, you know how important it is to not only sound, but to actually BE, convincing. In fact, this applies to others than just salespeople, or, put in a wider perspective, we all kind of work in sales, at all times, and in all situations in life. 

However, being convincing is not a synonym to being truthful. Although sales, as any other performance, should always include being truthful, there are always people who do not care so much about the truth, or who prefer creating their own truth. We find examples of these across society, of people who convince themselves first, and are color-blind to truth. I have once before quoted Anaïs Nin in this perspective: “We do not see the world as it is. We see it as we are”. 

Throughout centuries, truth has been discussed by philosophers, with a number of frameworks and theories built around a single word with so much meaning. Without going deeper into the different philosophical theories about truth, I just want to pinpoint that truth can be personal, and what is true to another individual, is not necessarily true to you. Some people are very convincing without actually telling the truth (a common truth that applies to the majority of people). There are many sad stories about individuals living their personal truths with a lack of morals, and humanity. Without having to explain further, I am pretty sure that you can think of a number of these. 

What does it take to be convincing? It is quite simple: 

Being convincing requires having confidence and trust in yourself. 

You also need to be convinced about the matter/product/situation. Selling Snow from the Sahara requires your personal conviction about the existence of snow in the Sahara. It is impossible to sell something that actually does not exist – that would equal to fooling your clients. 

In solution-based, client-oriented selling you can of course, in cooperation with your customer, define their needs, and based on those needs, create a tailored solution for them. That is problem-solving with and for the client. But you cannot promise a client that you can provide them with snow from the Sahara when you both know that there is no snow in the Sahara. And even if your customer does not know this, YOU know. 

Conviction includes taking moral responsibility in the first place. It also requires technical knowledge about what it is you are offering. All too often it is a fact that clients are offered various kinds of solutions by people who do not even know their products well enough. This includes not only a risk for the customer, who pays for the service/product, but also risks for the service/product provider: low quality leads to unsatisfied customers, and is a real slap in the face in regards to your brand’s image and reputation. 

Want to act morally and truthfully correct? Integrate the following into your (work) life: 

– Do not get involved into anything that is against your personal values/morals/knowledge/beliefs.

– Always be truthful to your clients/people around you.

– Know your product/service before actually offering it to your clients. If there is something you do not know, make sure to inform yourself so that you do not let your clients down.

– Take responsibility. True professionals and experts have not only a broad knowledge in their field, but are also continuously developing themselves, and seek to transform their knowledge into wisdom. 

– Live as you teach. There is no point in saying something, but acting in the opposite way. 

“You cannot convince anyone of anything. You can only give them the right information in order for them to convince themselves”. (Eben Pagan. Quote Essays.com. 12.11.2014). 

 

 

Virtues and Sins Part 2: Patience vs. Wrath

Have you ever felt impatient? Full of wrath, not knowing how to calm down or how to relax? Letting off steam in a proper manner e.g. through regular physical activities is good for anyone´s health, but if and when we do exercise wrath in maliscious ways, we end up harming not only others around us but most of all ourselves. Do you agree?

Having the gift of the tongue may be helpful in some situations, but playing a smart aleck can sometimes turn against you. Therefore, patience and the ability of listening, truly attentive listening often brings one further and enhances the birth of a true dialogue.

Then, what is a dialogue? And how is it related to patience and wrath? Simple questions, non?

A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a class held by Shawn Spano, Ph.D., about communication and dialogue at SJSU in Silicon Valley. According to Spano, there are many different approaches to dialogue. As an example, he used a unique form of human communication relating it to the social construction theory.

“Communication is the process through which we collectively create our social worlds. Rather than see communication as a neutral vehicle for transmitting information from one person to another, social construction treats communication as a primary activity, one that not only reflects meaning but shapes it as well”.

Seen from this perspective, everything comprising our social worlds (emotions, personalities, relationships, beliefs, attitudes, identities etc.) are being created in patterns of communication.

Social construction in key words:

– Individuals co-construct their social worlds through communication processes

– Communication is a process of action, not only transmission of information

– To widen the boundaries of people´s social worlds, there is a need to create communication bridges in-between these.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ARGUMENT AND DIALOGUE:

In Argument we…:

  • Try to win
  • Compete for speaking time
  • Speak for others
  • Create a potentially threatening and uncomfortable environment
  • Take sides with others
  • Polarize ourselves from those with whom we disagree
  • Feel unswerving commitment to a point of view
  • Ask questions to make a point or put the other person down
  • Make predictable statements
  • Make simplistic statements
  • COMPETE

In dialogue, we…:

  • Try to understand
  • Value listening
  • Speak from personal experience
  • Create an atmosphere of safety
  • Discover differences even among those with whom we agree
  • Discover shared concerns between ourselves and others
  • Discover our uncertainties as well as deeply held beliefs
  • Ask questions out of true curiosity and the desire to know more
  • Discover significant new things
  • Explore the complexity of the issues being discussed
  • COLLABORATE

(Source: http://www.publicconversations.org)

Once again: what has this got to do with patience and wrath?

Just about everything, since we all have the ability of constructing our social worlds through our means of communication. Communication and dialogue are at the core of every individual´s and organization´s success, but still, more often than not, undervalued.

Through the development of communication and dialogue we can all become successful at what we do, both in business and private.

For more information, feel free to contact me and to comment my posts. I love being in dialogue with people.