The Incredible Power of Respect, and How it Works


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Nothing will kill your ability to get projects done faster than other people deciding they don't really want to help you. There is no way to get anything done to its highest level of quality in our inter-connected world without having the help of people around way. Yet so much of the communication that goes on in the workplace is negative, dis-respectful and destructive. Unless you work at a counter, you won't get anywhere by being counter-productive.

When communicating with others at work, you need to come from a place of respect. If you disagree with someone's idea, you should let them know (if appropriate) in a respectful way. In particular, criticizing someone's personal behavior or attacking their ideas especially in front of others is not a sign of respect. If you really need to have a serious conversation that could potentially make someone look bad, try to do it privately.

In brainstorming meetings and creative sessions, respect is even more critical. Staying one step ahead and always on the edge is a critical factor of success in the 21st century, and you have no greater resource than the people you work with who both know your business and the real world. Work with them respectfully to brainstorm new products, ideas, and solutions, and you'll be drawing on a great asset. But if you belittle or humiliate anyone in these sessions, other people will be afraid to speak up, and your asset will run dry.

Let people know you respect them by treating them as you would want to be treated, and they'll be willing to go the extra mile for you.

Jerry Kolber has produced and co-executive produced television shows and films including Bravo's “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", A&E's “Inked", and E!'s “Gastineau Girls". At he offers commentary on the rapidly shifting media landscape from an insider's perspective, articles on creativity, and an ongoing discussion on how media relates to sustainibility, consumption, community and mindfulness.


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