When you are at restaurant how do you treat the Waiter? Or what about! If you are staying at an hotel how do you leave the room for the cleaners? How we treat the seemingly ‘little people’ the seemingly ‘unimportant people’ is a good demonstration on how we demonstrate respect. (Stephen M R Covey – The Speed of Trust)
He go on to say that the Demonstration of trust is in the ‘little stuff’ and its all little stuff isn’t it?
Covey share a particular story ‘I particularly like the story of the business student who did well on her final exam until she came to the last question. “What is the name of the person who cleans your dorm?” She was incredulous. How could she be expected to know the answer to that? And what in the world did it have to do with a business degree? Finally she asked the Professor if the question really counted on the final grade. “Indeed it does” he replied. “Most of you dream about being the president and CEO of a successful company. But success is a team effort. A good leader takes nothing for granted and recognizes the contributions made by everyone on the team- even those people who appear to do the most insignificant jobs.”
The Demonstration of Respect begins at home. How do we treat our nearest and dearest? Abuse can build up out of the little things that we either do or do not do. For instance Covey shares a paragraph he found in a pamphlet on abuse and this is what it says “The beginnings of both spouse and child abuse can be found in seemingly insignificant things, such as belittling the abilities and competency of another, constantly criticizing, being insulting or calling names, refusing to communicate, manipulating, causing guilt feelings, repeatedly making and breaking promises, intimidating, threatening physical harm, making unfounded accusations or destroying property.”
Yet there is one saying that is universal, ‘do unto others as we would have them do unto us’. And yet we seem to live in a society where the little things don’t matter any more. Life is a continual rush from one thing to another with little or nor ‘please or thank you.’
Apply the ‘Waiter’s Rule’ to yourself in terms on how you treat people at work and at home, how can you Demonstrate Respect for others. Do you like what you see? If not focus on improving your intent.