Why mutual respect is crucial, why boundaries should be respected, and why entrepreneurs need to invest in diversity and inclusion to work together for a better future.
At MoreDiversity we believe that mutual respect should be evident throughout the workplace (on-site and home office). This starts with accessibility and extends to netiquette rules for emails and chats between colleagues. We believe respect plays a critical role in face-to-face conversations, written communication, body language, and the way we interact with each other. Of course, you don’t always have to agree with other people’s ideas or beliefs, but you should at least listen to them.
What is respect, actually?
Respect is the basis for humane and ethical behavior, and mutual respect is the basis for good personal and professional relationships. Having respect for another person means fundamentally believing in their right to be heard and to have the same opportunities as everyone else. It does not mean ignoring the differences between people or simply tolerating them. Rather, it is about recognizing differences, understanding their significance, and treating them with interest and courtesy.
Why mutual respect is so important
Imagine working with someone who doesn’t respect you. You may not even have to imagine it, you may already be experiencing it: a colleague treats you condescendingly, devalues your work, withholds important information from you, or doesn’t invite you to meetings that could be useful for your work. Lack of mutual respect not only jeopardizes the actual work, but it can also damage self-esteem and the whole thing can lead to bullying or harassment. That’s why it’s so important that each of us treats everyone with respect, no matter how different the other person may seem.
If someone behaves rudely or disrespectfully toward you or someone else, you should carefully consider whether it is best to confront the person yourself or whether you need the assistance of a supervisor or Human Resources. However, you should not simply accept and tolerate the whole thing.
Sometimes people are disrespectful out of carelessness or ignorance. To counteract this, you should encourage others to take an interest in each other’s beliefs, behaviors and preferences. A respectful workplace means taking the time to understand and learn from the diversity of colleagues, customers, and service providers, and also to question your own triggers and unconscious biases.
If needed, you can also participate as a team in workshops on active and mindful listening to improve communication and understanding within the organization. Of course, this only works if there is an atmosphere of trust and no one feels pressured to reveal or explain more than he or she would like to.
Why entrepreneurs should invest in diversity and inclusion
As we operate in a global economy, we automatically need to create a respectful environment that welcomes all our diversity in order to be competitive at all. The ability to move easily between different cultures, understand different points of view and collaborate on a global basis are the new skills of a successful company. Once you take advantage of diversity and inclusion, you can better understand markets in which you operate and anticipate the needs of your customers, which can lead to closer business relationships and a more successful company.