The Respect EffectIn reading The Respect Effect, there were some surprises. It triggered key thoughts on the just how essential a respectful environment is (more than you even imagine), along with the importance of self-esteem in keeping and engaging in meaningful, respectful working relationships.

Paul Meshanko challenges leaders and team members to really embrace respect in all we do for a very crucial reason:  Respect ripples through all, creating better people, better workplaces, and better communities.

What Is Respect?

Paul defines respect as:

“…as an active process of nonjudgmentally engaging people from all backgrounds. It is practiced to increase our awareness and effectiveness and demonstrated in a manner that esteems both us and those with whom we interact.”

The respect stage is set with many key words and actions:

  • Engaging all people
  • Increasing awareness and effectiveness
  • Bringing esteem to all

A respectful environment and respectful interactions empower people to be more engaged, healthier, and more productive. This delivers an attitude that flows through to working with people across functions and, ultimately, customers who are more satisfied and happy with the products and services delivered. A respectful culture builds growth mindsets.

Without respect, many elements begin to deteriorate. People develop unhealthy habits and attitudes. Team members are not engaging to improve processes or guide valuable outcomes. Without respect, mindsets and attitudes lose their focus and begin to hunker down or just leave.

Respect is required to build healthy cultures and healthy individuals. We need to remember the impacts.

The Role of Self-Esteem in Respect

Another key definition in this conversation is self-esteem. Self-esteem is:

“…the degree to which individuals feel comfortable with themselves as they are, believe that they have inherent value as individuals, and demonstrate confidence in their ability to successfully achieve their own measure of success.”

Self-esteem is a mix of:

  • Being comfortable with ourselves
  • Believing in ourselves
  • Understanding and demonstrating our value
  • Exhibiting confidence in what we do

It isn’t being cocky, self-centered, or bossy. Self-esteem is about representing ourselves with comfortable confidence, equal among equals.

As the book points out, self-esteem frees us to build healthy relationships, deliver greater energy in what we do, and do the work with others without weighing everyone down in ego management.

The important point here is self-esteem plays a key role in respect. It holds us accountable in how we interact and work with others, and self-esteem repels disrespect. Self-esteem keeps us centered. As the book outlines, we need to engage in practices to build and keep our self-esteem. Others will notice this in our presence and will likely deliver greater respect to us in the process.

Respect, Self-Esteem, Trust, and Leading

Respect is core to relationships. It should drive esteem in ourselves and in others. Respect translates to trust. The higher the respect between individuals, teams, and departments, the greater the trust. With solid respect and engaging trust, leaders lead with greater meaning and results.

The Respect Effect delivers insights on the impact of respect and the practices to ensure it is present in all you do.

Respect makes us all stronger.

How do you practice respect? How do you build your self-esteem and keep it balanced in your respectful interactions with others? Join in the conversation!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book mentioned above for free as part of the book launch. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”