A Leadership Quality:Respect For Others


Respect Your Fellow Mates

You, who are reading this article, are an important person.

Do you realize that? Yes, this is an important lesson that we all have to learn. We also have to realize that not only are we important but also others around us. Living life efficiently requires that we appreciate this important fact. One of the important reasons we have problems professionally, personally and socially is the failure to realize this truth.

In our interface with people, through our walk of life, we find that sometimes people do make mistakes and how we respond gives a glimpse of how much we hold them in respect... the converse is also equally true.

Sports illustrate this philosophy well. Many games require teamwork. Here's an example: A team has a coach or leader who is responsible for making important decisions as the game unfolds. Now suppose that person doesn't give a thought about the other players' opinions and thoughts. Would he be a good coach or leader? NEVER!

Suppose, if in a game of cricket (a ball and bat game) a fielder fails to collect and return a ball that is hit, back to the keeper. What would be the right response of an able, potent, intelligent coach/leader? Screams, insults, slurs and abuse? No... No... No!

How about a response like: "That's okay, come on, you can do it next time."

Yes, that will work. It will not only ensure that the player fields & delivers better next time but also will win his heart, goodwill & respect. Why? Because he comes to know that his coach/leader does not value him based on a moment of mistake but for the person that he is. He feels valued and thus strives to deliver better goods in his very next opportunity. What does the coach/leader get? Apart from better scores in the game, he gets the goodwill and respect of a fellow mate.

William Arthur says, "Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you."

Isn't this a more intelligent way of dealing with people?

When someone has taken the responsible position of leading a team of trekkers through a hilly terrain, what if the lead man keeps shouting at fellows who seem to get tired or go off the usual beaten track to get a different trekking experience?

Of course one could easily understand that the lead man does his shouting because he is concerned about the safety of his fellow mates. The lead man might have the experience or so he thinks, but that doesn't warrant that he disregard the experience or efforts of his fellow mates. How many of his team would choose to go for a next season of trekking with such a person?

What lesson does this have for the common man?

Emerson said, "Men are respectable only as they respect".

Tons of wisdom in that statement, isn't there? Emerson does not say men should be respected only if they respect but that men "are worthy of" any kind of respect only if they respect. Does that strike a chord in us?

If we want to develop into a person who is worthy of any respect, we have to learn to respect. Respect others opinions... respect others efforts... respect others good intentions... respect others views.

Sometimes it does happen that even though our mate does not perform, he/she still has a good intention to perform well. In such a situation, we have to be well meaning rather than hurling out abuses and critical statements.

Great achievers, who have risen to the top in their own unique fields, have one thing in common - They know how to deal constructively with below average performance of their teammates or subordinates or juniors.

This statement ingrains the importance of one facet of successful workmanship/sportsmanship/family/friendship - Each one on a team is of the same value as the most experienced person in there... No one is superior and no one is inferior.

Would it be erroneous to say that we fail to remind ourselves of this at times?

How many people on a team would deliberately want to under perform if the captain/coach/leader is truly a genial person who keeps his nerves under control and understands his mates?

On the other hand, how would a team fare with a leader who is of a rough temper and cannot even stand the smallest mistake?

How can such a team be expected to win or be successful? Even if they win, how many of the members would truly value the presence of their leader? They may celebrate the victory but they will resent and silently hate the fellow who keeps insulting them and calling them names.

Friends, this is an important lesson, which holds true in every vocation. We all already know this... we just have to remind ourselves every now and then and resolve to follow the goodness of this lesson.

We need to respect our fellow workers or teammates. We have to bear with their short comings. We cannot continue to undermine the importance of our mates and still succeed in the long run.

At this point, it would be nice to remind ourselves of what someone once said:

"A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success".

Hence, let us respect each other even more and see for ourselves that life is still more joyous and pleasant.

Copyright 2010 Sam Vijay Kumar
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