AS A PERSON IN BUSINESS AND LIFE, WE CAN OFTEN COME FACE TO FACE WITH DISRESPECT.
It can be disrespect from colleagues, our clients, our exes, and the father/mother of our children, disrespect from our parents or peers, or disrespect from government officials or any person of authority. Disrespect can sneak into any situation, and it can leave you feeling ‘less than’ and rather victimized. If you are leading a company or organization, there needs to be zero tolerance for disrespectful behavior towards you or other team members.
Since our goal is to REMOVE the victim in the scenario – (this is an empowered person’s first goal.) We need to be aware of what is happening and take steps to deal with it. First, we need to recognize when we are being disrespected so that it is not normalized but treated truthfully for what it is – abuse. If someone on your team is being abused or disrespected by another team member, it is exceedingly important to deal with it immediately. If a client is disrespecting you and your team, this is an important lesson in business boundaries. What do you need to look for, and how can you help your team identify the signs of disrespect?
HERE ARE 10 SIGNS OF DISRESPECT:
THEY DON’T LISTEN
When you begin to talk, they give you body signals ( looking at their phone or watch) to indicate that what you are saying is unimportant and that they have better things to do.
They give you only a few words of space when you are talking and then start talking over you. What they have to say is way more valuable and important than what you have to say. In a client situation, this is not good, and this is not a dynamic you want to find yourself in.
THEY TALK AT YOU RATHER THAN WITH YOU
They don’t approach conversations with an open demeanor, and they talk down to you and don’t wait for your reply. It is a one-sided conversation.
THEY DON’T INCLUDE YOU IN IMPORTANT DECISIONS
They make decisions without asking you to weigh in, and they don’t deem your input valuable. If this is happening in a client situation, they are not letting you do your job. It is time to exert boundaries or move on.
THEY ARE ALWAYS LATE
They don’t honour their commitments to you for meetings or other arranged times. They are just fine making you wait for them, and likely won’t apologize for being late.
THEY TALK BEHIND YOUR BACK
They enlist others and makeup stories and ‘gossip’ about you. They make false judgments on you and decide that they are right about these judgments.
THEY DON’T HONOUR AGREEMENTS
If they’ve even been able to listen long enough to agree to terms, they will quickly forget them and not honour them.
THEY WILL LIE TO YOU AND IGNORE YOUR BOUNDARIES
They will make up excuses and otherwise not operate in integrity with you. They will ignore the boundaries you make, and you will feel uneasy and fearful of making any boundaries to protect yourself around them.
THEY WILL LAUGH
Or dismiss your concerns when you bring them up.
THEY WILL ACT AS THOUGH YOU ARE DAMAGED
Weak, stupid, needing counseling, damaged, or any other derogatory way of reducing you beneath them.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE RECOGNIZED, YOU ARE BEING DISRESPECTED. WHAT DO YOU DO?
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU
KNOW that this is all more about them than it is about you. These people have issues themselves and are very insecure, so they need to diminish other people to feel good about themselves. They could even have personality disorders ( Narcissism or Sociopath behaviours). YOU do count; you are valuable, and what you say matters. You need to stay strong and sure in this and realize the weakness comes from the person disrespecting you, not you. If this is a business situation, you mustn’t tolerate it. There is no reason to continue working in an environment that is continuously toxic and manipulative.
TRY TO COMMUNICATE
Ideally, you want to find a way to communicate to these individuals to hear you and start adjusting their behavior. But, that often doesn’t work, so you must work on the following steps to remove yourself from the situation. If this is a client, then firing them might be the healthiest option. Authentic Communication | 6 Tips that will Transform your Relationships
CONSIDER CHANGING LOCATION
If this is a work situation, see if you can connect with a ‘higher up‘ to explain your situation with this person. If the higher up disrespects you, seriously consider leaving the place you work. If a team member in your company comes to you, you must listen to their concerns. Another team member may disrespect them, and this needs to be stopped.
If this is a client situation, make sure your service agreement covers situations like this. Consider investing in a lawyer to intercept all communications for you if it gets terrible. Often, once you state your boundaries and let that client go, things will resolve. But, if that client won’t let go, you need to protect your business and your team legally.
TIME TO LET GO
If you are in a situation that you can leave the dynamic – then LEAVE. You don’t need this kind of negativity in your life. Pack your bags, give that toxic client their notice, fire that employee who keeps harassing your team members. It may seem drastic, but it is far less drastic than the damage that will result if you do not end this dynamic and end it fast.The best way to end disrespect in the workplace is to not give the perpetrator the chance to do it again. Click To Tweet
GET SOME SUPPORT
If you cannot leave the situation, work with a counselor or therapist to establish strong boundaries and ways of relating to people who cannot offer respect.
Being disrespected feels terrible, and often Women are the ones who absorb it and carry on believing that it is our issue and we must have done something to deserve it. It can be easier to stay quiet and deal with it than speak up and protect yourself from it. BUT, what you lose when you don’t speak up is far more drastic and soul-sucking than what you lose if you speak up and shake the tree.
Normalization of abuse, disrespect, and shame happens in many dynamics in personal and work relationships. It is important to start being AWARE of the abuse before you can remove the victim from it. Being a Victim will never serve you, and you can get away from it, but it takes a willingness to do so.
Educate yourself and your team on some signs of disrespect, be honest with yourself and find support networks to start removing yourself from the situation or other ways of handling it that don’t allow the disrespectful person to continue with their behavior.
It all starts with us. We are the agents of our own change. Be Brave and do what you need to do to love yourself by valuing yourself enough to not allow this kind of thing in your life from ANYONE. If you are a leader and one of your team members has come to you to express their concern about another team member, be sure to listen. It takes a lot of courage to step up and protect ourselves when we are in a toxic environment. It is your job to empower and support your team and maintain a healthy and productive work environment.
Personality and interpersonal dynamics might seem like the least important thing on your ‘to do’ list for a busy CEO. But, it really needs to be the MOST important. As a CEO and team leader, it is your responsibility to create the company culture, manage productivity, encourage and empower. If there is a toxic element anywhere within your team structure, your company will suffer, and it will affect your bottom line at some point.
Rewritten for context and audience – Original Article from kaarelong.com