You Get What You Give
“If you disrespect anybody that you run into, how in the world do you think anybody’s supposed to respect you?” ~ Mack Rice and Luther Ingram
Young professionals look for respect from their employers. From their boss, peers and company. Unlike prior generations, Millennials and Gen Z’s are vocal about asking for respect simply for being them, a unique individual who works at the same company. Respect having nothing to do with their seniority, experience or earning it. And, they will easily leave a position if they don’t see it being demonstrated, even if there is no job offer to escape to. Does that mean they show respect openly and easily to others they work with and their employer?
It’s one thing to ask for it for yourself, and be hopeful and positive that you’ll receive it, that’s natural. It’s another thing to think about the giving end. Are you showing your boss, peers, and other people in the company the same respect you want to receive?
When I was recruiting in my earlier career for an advertising sales director for a global media business, the client was set on hiring a young charming bully. He’d pull out all the respect and charm for my older male media client, and yet his behavior with me as the hiring consultant was mixed. Sometimes he was professional, sometimes he was the antithesis: missing our scheduled calls, not apologizing for them and blaming me for not sending him more than one or two reminders for our “meetings”.
I asked the Head of Sales if he wanted to hire someone who showed respect for prospective clients, bosses and colleagues. He was honest, “While I may not care as much about colleagues, I do care about showing respect for his bosses and our clients”. When I interviewed references, the candidate gave as “supporters of his professionalism”, the references told me a different perspective that the salesperson had anticipated : stories of his disrespect for corporate responsibilities, colleagues, assistants…. (you get the picture). Sharing the report with the client, he decided disrespectful arrogance didn’t fit into the job description.
I heard that the young professional had a difficult time finding a job long after we spoke. And, what the twenty-something sales person didn’t understand was the lack of respect he was showing others, was hurting his career and reputation. While at the same time, he was expecting the respect shown to him should come from everyone universally.
If you want to be treated with respect, show respect. In job interviews, in family, friends, and social situations and on the job. Regardless if the person is your age, younger or older, same sex or different, in a more executive position or in a support position, similar background or not, the respect you demonstrate for others only enhances their view of you (even if they may not openly show it – believe this is true). And more importantly, showing respect further validates and grounds your own belief and confidence in yourself; it’s a reflection of how you feel about you.
These days while respect in a business setting may be expected, it is only a given when respect is demonstrated by you as well. The two- way street of respect, leaders of the 21st century understand this. Do you?
Top CEO’s have spoken: the world needs more leaders who can navigate through these times. You.
How can you get the things you need to do that? Ask. Take steps. If you are in a position to bring forth good change, encouragement, and growth, you want full access to your potential. Your field, business and team need you. Make the choices you need to be the leader that advocates change to look forward to. That change which engages your people, improves productivity and highlights the abilities of your team members.
If you would like to have a conversation on how to step into a greater position of leadership with increased impact, contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com