Respect @ Work


04 Nov
04Nov

Look up the word “respect” on dictionary.com and you’ll find seven definitions listed as a noun and four listed as a verb. The seven nouns should be scratched, and we should solely focus on the verb, the action, the behavior it takes to demonstrate respect. If you’ve never actually thought about it, other than to say, “Yeah, I show respect to others,” then take a quick journey and really think about the simplicity of the following model.

Bo5 Model of Respect

Show Up

Sit Up

Stand Up

Speak Up

Shut Up

Show Up

If we were to define this in just three words, they’d be “Be on Time.” But it’s much more than that. Show Up means to be there in the good times and the bad; to bring your A-game every time; to be on time with your work deliverables; to be prepared and on time for meetings; to be focused on the topic at hand. The list goes on.

Sit Up

This is as much about perception as it is about real respect. Envision a meeting with participants seated around a conference room table or even co-workers at their desks. Are they slouches or sliders (slid way down in their chairs)? What thoughts come to mind when you see this? 

  • Not interested
  • Lazy
  • Mind is elsewhere
  • Not getting their work done
  • Not taken seriously
  • Don’t care
  • Etc.

Stand Up

There are multiple scenarios that occur during the workday where this tool has the potential to elevate you to a different level. First, Stand Up means just that, STAND UP. A physical movement of getting up off your fourth point of contact (Airborne term for buttocks 😊) and standing on your feet. Consider the following and how another person might truly feel you showed them respect with one quick move:  stand up when they come speak to you! The movement alone puts your attention on them and not only does it demonstrate respect, it builds your professional reputation.

Speak Up

Speak Up has several connotations. Here's just one...if you lead others, do you have their back? Do you really have their back? Do you Speak Up on their behalf, or are you the one who takes credit for their work when it’s good but throws them under the bus when it’s bad? If you’re “that person,” you’re not a leader at all and will never earn their respect. I don’t say this here to sound tough, but to invoke self-reflection and to ensure that, if nothing else, any leader reading this understands that those they lead deserve a voice on their behalf. Speak Up, give credit and take the heat!

Shut Up

Just as there’s a time to speak, there’s also a time to keep your lips in contact with each other. If you’ve been part of any group meeting, I’d find it hard to believe that you didn’t witness people speaking, whispering, gossiping, interrupting or a slew of other things when someone else had the floor. Repetitive behavior like this is dis-respectful.  To be absolutely clear and non-politically correct, Shut Up really does mean Shut Up.


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