From our guest contributor, Frank Sonnenberg.
Some people believe that because they’re rich, powerful, or famous, they deserve our respect — regardless of their behavior. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Respect must be earned. So, how do you earn the respect of others? It’s easy to respect someone who displays the following qualities:
Authenticity. You are proud of who you are and what you stand for. You’re neither intimidated by someone else’s opinion nor worried about what people think of you. You don’t play games, have a personal “agenda,” or pretend to be someone you’re not. You’re the real deal. Ahh, so refreshing.
Knowledge. You might be very smart, but you don’t give the appearance of being a know-it-all. You’re curious about the world around you, eager to learn, and hungry to improve yourself.
Integrity. You have high ethical values and are true to your beliefs. You follow the spirit of the law, not because you signed an agreement or are afraid of being caught, but because it’s the right thing to do — and that’s good enough reason for you.
Honesty. Your life is an open book because you have nothing to hide. You’re passionate about being straightforward, and you’re happy to deliver good news without sugarcoating the bad. You don’t make promises lightly. In fact, your promise is as binding as a contract.
Fairness. You believe in building long-term relationships rather than settling for short-term gains. You strive for win-win relationships, knowing that if a solution isn’t evenhanded, no one wins.
Tolerance. You are receptive to ideas, beliefs, and cultures other than your own. In the process, you always try to evaluate all sides of an issue rather than forcing your personal opinion on others.
Humility. You are modest about your achievements, comfortable in your own skin, and quietly proud. You shift your focus from taking to giving, from talking about yourself to listening to others, and from hoarding the credit to distributing the praise.
Selflessness. You give to others because you want to, not because you expect anything in return. You believe that your kindness helps to build trust, strengthen relationships, and enhance everyone’s sense of self-worth — not to mention, adding to your karma.
Compassion. You go out of your way to treat others kindly even though you’ve reached the top of your game. You remember your roots and give credit to everyone who helped you along the way. You bring out the best in people in an effort to make everyone feel special, and you help those in need of a break.
Personal responsibility. You take charge of your life rather than feeling that the world owes you something. You set your goals high, make the commitment and sacrifice required to succeed, and accept the consequences of your choices. Of course, if things go south, you don’t play the blame game or fall back on excuses — you remain positive and steadfast.
Quality associations. You are vigilant about the people with whom you surround yourself, knowing that you win or lose respect based on the company that you keep.
This is adapted from Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others By Frank Sonnenberg © 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.
Frank is an award-winning author. He has written six books and over 300 articles. Frank was recently named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders” and one of America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts. Frank has served on several boards and has consulted to some of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Additionally, FrankSonnenbergOnline was named among the “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs” and among the “Top 100 Socially-Shared Leadership Blogs.” Frank’s newest book, BOOKSMART: Hundreds of real-world lessons for success and happiness, was released November, 2016 © 2017 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.