By Tasha M. Troy
How often do you open up to someone who clearly isn’t interested in your perspective? For me, it is never. That is why showing “mutual respect” is one of my foundational values.
For many years, my classrooms have had a high level of cultural diversity. That’s the nature of the field of teaching I went into. At one point, out of a class of 12 or 15 students, I had 8 or 9 languages and nationalities and at least 3 religions represented.
Respect in the Classroom
In order to create a flourishing learning community, I have to establish mutual respect.
As the instructor, I set the example for respect:
- I respect their time by not assigning “busy work.”
- I respect their personal goals, as distinct from the training program goals.
- I respect the time and effort they have already invested to achieve whatever level of success they’ve achieved.
In turn, I expect them to respect me as their instructor and to trust my judgment and expertise, and I expect them to respect each other for who they are.
Respect in the Real World
Outside the teaching environment, I continue to endeavor to live out this value of respect.
- When a friend makes an outlandish comment, I ask for clarification before challenging their assumptions.
- I accept that people think differently and have dramatically different perspectives from me, and I can accept that they are still good people regardless of our point of disagreement.
- I recognize that my priorities are not another’s priorities, and I choose not to get upset by that.
- I choose not to take it personally when someone attacks a belief or position I hold. (Ok, I’m still working on this one!)
When we start from a place of respect, we open the door to progress on the issues that matter most to us.
We all come to the issues of our day from different perspectives, by different routes. We must respect the journey others have taken if we want to have influence with them.
Take It Deeper
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I hold free exploratory coaching sessions each week. You can register online at Troy Communications or email me to schedule an appointment at TMTroy@TroyCommunications.Net
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