Here is an interesting experience I had some time back.
I went to one of my colleague’s desk to discuss an important point with a prior intimation. As I was speaking, his eyeballs kept focusing on his laptop screen and then back on me. His attention span to what I was saying was very limited. It was when he interrupted me just because someone pinged him on MSN that I had to revolt. I stopped speaking and suggested that we would only discuss when he is done with all his mails and chat. He got the point.
On the other hand, I had a colleague few years back who made sure that when someone drops in to meet (even without prior intimation), he would immediately shut the lid of his laptop and assume a very relaxed position. He would attentively listen and acknowledge that he is getting the message. He guaranteed his complete attention.
People resort to a number of ways to demonstrate that they are higher in the hierarchy – in process of exhibiting this, they loose respect. Isn’t humility even more neccessary and important when you climb higher in the corporate hierarchy?
Key takeaways for me from these experiences –
- People only respect you when you respect them. People reciprocate acts. Give and you graciously receive. Respecting people at workplace is mandatory!
- Respecting people means listening them. With all social applications, chat, mobiles, blackberries and emails, it is very easy to be always pre-occupied with something or the other. But is it more important than a person who is sitting in front of you, wanting to tell something important? Respecting people means listening them. Really listening!
- Respecting people means respecting their time – because that’s the most precious resource we all have! Scheduling meetings only when they are required, sticking to agenda and adhering to meeting time is a great way to respect other’s time.
- Respecting people means doing what you said you will. Keeping on promises means you respect your commitment and expectations of the other party.
Have you experienced situations when you felt that you were not respected? What did you learn from it?
I am keen to know and I look forward to your comments.