Step 4: Developing and Maintaining Respect, even in Times of Conflict!

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With step 4 in building professional relationships we venture out into a treacherous field: Respectful behavior.

Paying respect is another cornerstone in building relationships and must include considerations of the moral implications of interaction.

Yet for the purpose of this newsletter, let’s bypass this discussion and assume, that any scientist deserves respect for who they are.

Then we can say that:

  • Showing respect acknowledges a person in a supportive and validating way
  • Respectful behavior provokes effective communication (this is also a conversation on boundaries and setting a clear “code of behavior” – we will discuss that in the next newsletter)
  • Showing respect is a sign of power. You demonstrate integrity and loyalty, which is crucially important as a leader.
  • Respect is a vehicle to remember each other’s best qualities.

During happy and easy times, respect for each other is a piece of cake. Yet in times of conflict, it is much more difficult to look beyond the instant gratification of releasing one’s anger.

In a professional relationship, disrespectful behavior might not be shared openly. But packaged in unsupportive behavior or sarcastic comments, it can be just as damaging.

Showing respect for another person’s behavior and point of view comes from a general attitude, no matter if times are good or bad.

It helps to remember the things you respect your colleague or employee for. Think about it! There are a few things that deserve your genuine respect. If you make an effort and keep these thoughts in mind, it will be much easier for you to respond to conflict in a controlled and thoughtful way.

If you can generate this respectful attitude, your relationships will blossom and conflicts can be carried out on a constructive level.

Try it out. Make a list for your professional relationships and write down at least three things that you respect your employee or colleague for. Writing it out helps to manifest a positive and constructive attitude.

Let us know what you discover about your professional relationships. We are eager to hear about it.


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