This blog was inspired by Gayle Hardie’s insight about Respect. Gayle will be writing a new insight each month, to which I am adding how each of us, depending on our Enneagram style, has obstacles and opportunities to develop in this arena.
Gayle Hardie, a Senior Member of the Enneagram in Business Network, is based in Australia and is co-founder of the Global Leadership Foundation (along with her working partner Malcolm Lazenby), a company that provides training, consulting, and coaching services to organizations interested in transformation at all levels.
Respect is choosing not to stand in judgment of another. It is acknowledging others for who they are and what has brought them to this point in time, rather than focusing on what they have or have not done or what they feel or think. It is sometimes incredibly difficult to see someone for who they truly are, particularly if their story and journey is difficult to accept or believe or is one that troubles you or has directly impacted your own well being.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to be “heard.” When we take the time to truly listen to others, we find that our own “internal dialogue” quiets, and we are better able to see what is driving or motivating the behaviors we are experiencing from the other person. From this comes greater understanding and compassion – two important markers of respect.
Obstacles to Respect: The judging mind, the closed-down heart, and the quickly reactive body responses
Opportunities for Respect: Opening the mind and heart to others with whom you disagree or who you do not perceive as living up to your standards; when you do this your behavior will show others the respect you want for yourself and that they deserve.
Obstacles to Respect: Lack of respect for oneself and the adherence to rules of interaction in which you expect others to behave in certain ways
Opportunities for Respect: Begin with self-respect, then move to respect for others who do not behave in ways aligned with how you believe others should act.
Obstacles to Respect: Believing that respect comes solely or primarily from what a person accomplishes or achieves and judging oneself and others on this basis
Opportunities for Respect: Go deeper into yourself regarding who you are in addition to what you do, then learn to respect yourself for who you are as a person; this will transfer to how you perceive others.
Obstacles to Respect: Self-blame, self-negation, and your tendency to absorb negative information about yourself
Opportunities for Respect: Recognize the positive qualities in yourself rather than focusing so much on what might be wrong with you; this will be more realistic and balanced in your self-assessment, your self-respect and respect for others will increase.
Obstacles to Respect: Focusing so much on knowledge and your perceived competence that you may miss other qualities in yourself and others that you can respect
Opportunities for Respect: Become more open to different people and ideas. Recognize that although shared values and intellectual competence of common points of view are a foundation for respect, you are limiting yourself if this is your primary or sole basis for respect.
Obstacles to Respect: Concerns about others and second-guessing both other people and yourself
Opportunities for Respect: Learn to be open to people who behave and think very differently from yourself; it is possible to respect others who are not similar to you, even if you may not be entirely comfortable with them. These individuals might actually be more worthy of respect than those with whom you feel like-minded.
Obstacles to Respect: Not listening fully to others and needing to be excited by them
Opportunities for Respect: Remember that everyone has a different pace and that yours is much faster – but not necessarily better – than other people’s. Listen to those whose energy level doesn’t excite you, but who have something important to offer.
Obstacles to Respect: Thinking you can rely on and trust your gut response to people in almost all cases and thinking that what you believe is the truth
Opportunities for Respect: Become more receptive to others and be willing to be open to people about whom you first have a non-positive response.
Obstacles to Respect: Confusing respectful interactions with true respect for others
Opportunities for Respect: Remember that just because you or someone else treats someone respectfully does not mean this reflects a deeper level of respect for another person.