This week, during our Customer Service Excellence class, we had a guest speaker who talked to us of the importance of respect in our daily lives – both personal and business.
He introduced us to 4 words to help us to remember the key concepts.
A – Assumptions: how it’s so easy to prejudge others, without any knowledge of them
K – Knowledge: finding out a little bit about them starts a connection
A – Awareness: we then become more sensitive about them as individuals
U – Understanding: ‘walking a mile in their shoes’ prevents us prejudging others
Or, maybe we are turned off by not only what they say; but how they say it. When this occurs, it’s very effective to use the word “I” vs. “You”. (As in, “I feel uncomfortable with that language, etc … vs. “You shouldn’t say that, etc.”)
Finally, we were reminded to connect instead of just converse. Often times, we are so concern with getting the next word in, we miss the opportunity to pick up on what has just been said – getting deeper into the other persons experience – which promotes respect. (Like peeling off the layers of an onion, so that you get beyond the superficial.)
This then prevents us falling into the trap of staying in our own ‘bubble’… tending to be more concern with our wants, our needs and not being aware of the damaging effects our lack of respect can cause others.