respect vs kindness

The success of any relationship – business or otherwise – depends heavily on mutual respect. Not just verbal respect (words), but through respectful actions (because we all know actions speak louder than words).

Respect is different from kindness in that it goes beyond the verbal formalities (e.g. “please” and “thank you”) and extends into actions and follow through.

Here are a two short excerpts from a great article about the difference between respect and kindness, as explained by a mother…

What is Respect?

Respect can be taught as accepting and not judging another’s opinion, even if you disagree. It can be taught as the ability to have an argument without ever feeling the need to get angry or use cross language with the one you are speaking to, and it can be as simple as choosing to respect our planet by not littering or harming other creatures.

Respect without Kindness

Respect with out kindness seems more to be about obeying than it does about the intention behind why we are asking children to be respectful. When we demand obedience, and we are not asking a child to think of the intentions behind their actions, we are simply creating situations that make the adult feel loved, and the child feel anger. We are also teaching that kindness does not need to be present in order for children to behave “correctly”.

Consumers: Respect your Customer Service Representative (CSR)

Give customer service representatives your undivided attention. This will help you focus your efforts on sharing your customer service issue, and eventually getting it addressed in a pleasing manner. Showing your CSR respect, will also communicate to him or her that you are serious and dedicated to getting your customer service issue resolved.

CSRs: Respect your Customer

Show your customers respect. Give them your undivided attention, listen to their problem(s) and respond calmly and collected. Showing your customer respect will communicate to him or her that you are dedicated to helping them get better customer service.

Good customer service is a two-way street that relies on mutual respect, which is why principle three of good customer service is simply “Show Respect.”

We leave you with a quote about respect.

“No worthwhile business relationship, whether with your own people or customers and partners, can endure without mutual respect.”

– Ed Fuller, President and Managing Director of Marriott International