Whether between spouses, friends, coworkers, or business acquaintances, if there is a history of mutual respect and sincere gratitude, the people involved are generally happier and more successful. We live in a world where there are many differences between people, but with an open mind and an appreciation of each person's contributions to this world, we strengthen our relationships and our community. Thus, I strongly believe everyone should make it a habit to look for the unique talents of each person we meet and be respectful of their differences. We often learn more from our mistakes and failures than our successes as we go through life. It always amazes me that no matter how high the level of organization or person--government, military, doctors, religious leaders, celebrities, scientists, entrepreneurs--if there is not mutual respect and sincere gratitude, the organization or relationship can quickly fail. When I was younger, I assumed the individual or organization that was smarter, more talented, and better funded would usually win. Over the years, I have realized this is rarely true. I have seen marriages between presumably incompatible people with a mutual respect, far outlast marriages between "the perfect couple" who never learned to appreciate each other. If you're looking to improve your relationships, whether business or personal, try these five easy ways to show your gratitude and respect for others:
I know it sounds easy, but listening--truly listening--can be one of the hardest skills to master. If you want a person to know you respect him or her, then tune into what that person is saying. Look them in the eye, put down your cell phone, and offer feedback when necessary. Everyone appreciates the person who willing listens to them and shows genuine interest in what they have to say.
If you've ever had a bad day, then you know the power a little encouragement can have. We've all had moments when we need someone to tell us, "don't worry, things will work out." It might not seem like much at the time, but that person will remember that you took the time and interest in their feelings and well-being. A smile and uplifting word can truly brighten someone's day.
If someone does a great job, let them know about it. In fact, let everyone know about it. Openly congratulate someone for a job well done, especially if you're a manager. Employees will work harder and happier knowing their manager has a mutual respect for them and is willing to express praise and gratitude when it's deserved.
If you find a friend or coworker in a jam, be willing to help them if at possible. Not to say you should take on half their project, but offering some advice or throwing in a bit of your time will mean a lot. If that friend or coworker has helped you in the past, then returning the favor will be a nice way to show both your respect and gratitude.
Say Thank You
I'm sure this one seems like common sense, but many people just forget to say thank you or at least forget how to say it with sincerity. A thank you can be as small as two words or as much as buying someone a gift; nevertheless, if the action is not done with 100% sincerity then it is wasted. Make sure people know you appreciate them and their actions. Simply saying it in front of someone else can make a big impact.
With the daily pressures on all of us, we often overlook opportunities to thank and compliment people we are with. Take time to show your appreciation and gratitude. Not only does it make the other person feel better, but you will feel uplifted as well. If you want your relationships or organization to do well, just remember two basic guidelines for success: mutual respect and gratitude. How do you show others that you respect and appreciate them? I would love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to leave your comments below.
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