Respect is a UCOM core value
November 1st, 2022
Here are 7 simple ways you can be more respectful today:
- Listen and be present.
If someone else is speaking, give them the courtesy of listening to and thinking about what they’ve said before responding, forming your own opinions, or dismissing theirs. If you want to express an opposing viewpoint, do it as calmly and courteously as possible. Respectful discourse is intended to inform or persuade, not to be hurtful, sarcastic, or funny at another’s expense.
- Be thoughtful of others’ feelings.
Respect offers encouragement to vulnerability, openness to new or differing ideas, and honest, caring feedback to another. It makes everyone feel safe and cared for.
- Acknowledge others and say thank you.
Letting others know that their efforts matter and thanking them for their time, work, and/or thoughtfulness doesn’t need to take more than a few seconds, but it makes a big difference. Acknowledging coworkers’ contributions to the mission is a way to respect one another. Thanking volunteers for their specific services show that we recognize and appreciate their efforts.
- Address mistakes with kindness if you need to address them at all.
Everyone makes mistakes! How would you prefer to be corrected? Would you want to be called out and humiliated in front of your friends (or hear second-hand that someone had been dissing you), or would you feel better if someone you respect or admire invited you aside, gently told you about the mistake, and then helped you to see how you could improve next time? We’re all human and we’re all going to need a helping hand now and then. Helping others grow from their mistakes with dignity is just the decent thing to do.
- Make decisions based on what’s right.
Sometimes it might feel easier to go along with the crowd and either mimic the behavior of your friends or coworkers or “people like you” or to choose their ideas over those of others out of a sense of loyalty or to gain favor with more popular people, ideas, or less controversial matters, but that’s not smart or fair. Instead, think about what’s right, and what will lead to the best outcomes for all involved. Sometimes it takes “intestinal fortitude” to speak up and support less popular views, but it is the right thing to do when advocates are needed. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “It is always the right time to do right.”
- Respect physical boundaries.
Everyone’s body is their own, and everyone has the right to decide the level and type of physical contact they’re comfortable with. For instance, some people love to be greeted with hugs, some people don’t, and that’s OK! It is respectful to find out other people’s preferences, and it is good to insist on other’s respecting our boundaries as well.
- Live and let live.
In this great big world of ours, there are a billion different ways to live life, and that’s what makes life interesting! As long as everyone is being respectful and no one is hurting anyone else, it’s important to take a step back and accept that there’s no one right way to exist on this planet.
What would you add to this list?