People Skills: Responding With Dignity
by Kate Nasser |
People Skills: Can you show dignity even to those you don’t respect?
Work and life bring people together. Often they form positive connections through great people skills and build trust with great results.
Sometimes the interactions don’t work out well. For some reason, the people don’t respect or trust each other. But what if they must still interact? How can they show dignity to those they don’t respect or trust?
People Skills: Responding With Dignity When There’s No Respect
Focus on human dignity vs. the need to be right.
Even when there’s disrespect for others’ views, resolution comes through communication. Treating others with dignity keeps the communication flowing. The need to be right can generate a degrading response. Once said, it echoes forever making a dignified end result very difficult.
Clearly set limits on verbal abuse without abusing.
Often when verbal abuse is coming at you, the instinct is to fight back in a similar undignified manner. Yet there is nothing as strong as firmly and clearly setting limits — with dignity. If verbal abuse continues, you can always take a temporary leave. A wonderful how-to resource on this is The Power of a Positive No by negotiation expert William Ury.
Consider how you would feel. Don’t patronize.
In the heat of emotion and the desire to win an argument, it’s tempting to patronize. Yet, this degradation makes matters worse and makes interaction difficult. As adults we all like to be treated as adults. Instead of patronizing, bravely ask for a new approach. “Let’s all treat each other as valued adults. It brings cooperation.”
Know yourself & your hot buttons.
Undignified responses come from fears, past scars, and insecurities. When someone you don’t respect touches on any of your hot buttons, your non-dignified response is close at hand. Yet if you are aware of your triggers, you can own them, repress their power over you, and choose dignity for yourself and others.
Clarify goals instead of assuming the worst.
Knowledge highlights alternatives; assumptions feed emotions and fears. Better to ask “What is your goal?” than to assume a person’s goal is to degrade you. If they admit their goal is to attack your dignity, you can clearly set limits or walk away.
Trust that dignity doesn’t cause defeat.
Responding with dignity doesn’t mean weakness. It doesn’t lead to failure and defeat. Quite the opposite! There is enormous strength and power in maintaining your dignity and treating others that way too.
Let time provides insight and answers.
Time out to defuse and consider what’s truly important also sends the message that a new approach is needed. It’s a strong yet dignified way to interact, when necessary, with those you don’t respect.
Why is it tough to show dignity to those we don’t respect? Because the desire to treat others with dignity usually comes from a sense of mutual respect. When that is missing, we must look within ourselves to lead with dignity.
Responding with dignity preserves our own dignity and that is the inspiration to continue — even with those we don’t respect!
What else would you add to this list? What has life taught you about responding with dignity?
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Other People Skills Posts:
People Skills Secret to Success: Uninvited Bluntness Loses
People Skills: Integrity & Authenticity
People Skills: Empathize Before You Analyze
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.