Respect – a vital component to any relationship and especially one that rocks

The Readers’ Digest Word Power Dictionary defines “respect” as

  1. Noun – a feeling of admiration for someone elicited by their qualities or achievements

Due regard for the feelings or rights of others

  1. Verb – feel or have respect for, avoid harming or interfering with, agree to recognise or abide by.

I think the song goes something like – R E S P E C T – find out what it means to me.

Well, what does it mean to you? Are there people you respect? Who are they? How do you demonstrate that respect? And, just maybe, the meaning to you could be clearer when you think about who or what you don’t respect.

The other day I was in a workshop based around Time to Think © where they explored ten components that made up an effective Thinking Environment.

Afterwards when I was going over the material I thought this is really about having respect, respect for both self and others, be it the organisation, your spouse/partner, the family or just a group of people with a common interest.

The first component was called Attention. This was all about being present and really letting the other person have their say without interruption. Being present means your total attention is on that other person, without judgment, without interruption, without formulating your response before they have completed what they had to say and your eyes are fixed on that person or whatever is acceptable in your culture.

The second component was called Equality – this component related to everyone present being on an equal footing, meaning that, for instance, if your pay packet was larger than the other person’s, that does not mean your views carried more weight on the issue under discussion.  Everyone’s input was equally important.

Ease was about being relaxed in the moment. As we all know, when we are relaxed, the blood flows more easily to our brain and we are able to think and function more effectively. It’s when we are uptight our muscles become tight and the flow suffers. Think about when you find you can’t remember something, what do you do?  Most people seem to go into a state of panic and berate themselves because they can’t remember and then when they have forgotten about the situation and allowed themselves to relax, the answer comes back to them. Being in a state of relaxation can have so many benefits.

Appreciation of what the other person brought to the table was the next component. In a relationship with two people, this could be an acknowledgment of a quality you admire in that person. When the appreciation is delivered the person on the receiving end says “Thank you”. That is all that is required. To go on and explain, substantiate or defend that quality will only negate from the power behind it. When you say “thank you” you acknowledge the other person by showing your appreciation. Appreciation needs to be succinct, sincere and specific. An example may be something like you know, when you really listen to my point of view I feel truly appreciated.

The next component is Encouragement. Everyone needs a bit of encouragement and when we champion the other person, their belief in themselves and their ability becomes stronger and all round everyone wins. After all, when you stop and think about it – how do you feel when your efforts have been championed? I know I’m more likely to line up to have another go, to really go that extra mile and stick with it until I have achieved my goal.

Of course, it’s also vital to have all the correct information, to consider people’s feelings, to ask the right questions and for all this to really come together, being in the right place is important. However these last components can keep until next time. I think when we concentrate on the first five components alone, there is a massive chance your relationship with the other person can only be enhanced. Just take a moment and think how you felt the last time someone gave you their undivided attention without interruption, when you felt totally at ease in the presence of that person you could freely explore the deepest ocean without judgment, when your efforts were encouraged and your contribution was appreciated.

I know when I thought about all that after the workshop, it was really powerful and my experience was that my relationship with the other participants became stronger.

I know how I feel when someone gives me some special one-on-one time to really explore a topic. More importantly, I also know how I feel about that person afterwards and that can be very strong.

You can be sure when you experience a free coaching session with me, you will walk away with some of those feelings too. Coaching is all about championing the client through these sorts of tools, asking some great questions and really giving the client the time and space to think about her issue an to find the answer that is right for her.

If you’d like to explore this further, please feel free to contact me for a free session – that is free of obligation, free of judgment and free of charge – just go to fill out the form and, hey presto, I will get back to you to make a time for a chat.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time


Life Coach Adelaide