People Skills: Be Deserving Not Entitled

Relationships can sometimes be damaged with ONE word. The word entitled is one such word. For some it conjures up images of pride, excess, privilege, and even laziness. Yet for others it uplifts and gives a sense of security.

However, if we change that ONE word from entitled to deserving, the negative connotations seem to disappear and the positives remain.

People-Skills: Be Deserving Not Entitled

Perhaps because there is a balance to the word deserving.

It suggests giving and thanks.
It describes effort and earning.
It connotes quality and trust.
It sustains and doesn’t drain.

Which sits better with you?

  • A leader that is entitled to your trust or deserving of it?
  • A company that is entitled to your customer loyalty or very deserving of it?
  • An employee that is entitled to a promotion or truly deserving of it?
  • A parent that is entitled to your respect or deeply deserving of it?
  • A friend that is entitled to your attention or clearly deserving of it?
  • A spouse that is entitled to your love or certainly deserving of it?
  • As the leader, the company owner, the employee, the parent, friend, or spouse, which would you prefer to be — deserving or entitled?

    Which means more to you? Which means more to those in your work and personal life? When people agree on this, it breeds harmony in organizations, teams, and families. When they differ, it can cause ongoing conflict.

    I vote to be deserving not entitled. What’s your vote?

    From my perspective,
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

    ©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, explores, learns, and teaches professional people-skills for workplace success. Teamwork, customer service, and leading change are her passions. Her natural intuition about people fills the gaps of diversity for business success. See this site for workshop outlines, DVDs, and customer feedback.

    13 Responses to “People Skills: Be Deserving Not Entitled”

    1. I love the distinction, Kate! Some may call it semantics, but there are connotations to certain words that affect our emotional response to them. We don’t have to be aware of the distinction for us to experience those emotions. We DO have to be aware of the distinction in order to properly manage our relationships.

      • Kate Nasser says:

        I agree William especially with the “be aware the of the distinction to manage our relationships” — personally and professionally. It is often hidden and creates conflict that few identify. Festered it can break the relationship in two.

        Very grateful for your addition to this discussion.


    2. Nicely put, Kate. This is a distinction that I’d love to see more widely adopted. I’d rather earn all the good things in life – that’s the only way I could feel I deserve them.

      My latest blog post is all about declaring independence. I say we declare independence from entitlement:

      Declare Independence Today

      • Kate Nasser says:

        Thanks Ash. I read your post and it is very inspirational. Someone could read these every single day and get that shot of support they need to really make a change.

        Best wishes,

    3. GuyKawaski says:

      It’s amazing how small thing change meanings in big ways. Deserving reflects earning.

      Good post.

    4. Entitled is ugly. Entitlement coupled with pride is destructive. I’ve seen people get really upset at work because they were passed over for a position they just KNEW was theirs. They were clearly the best person for the job, heck they had already been doing the job and yet, they were not picked and were blind sided by the non selection.

      They assumed they had the inside track and failed to update a resume or adequately prepare for the interview. They assumed wrong and did not get the job.

      Happens a lot.

    5. Alan Winter says:


      I agree with all the comments. I would merely add that all customer and employee experiences are based on deserving and trust. Both should be embeded in the corporate DNA. If that does not take place, it is a direct negative reflection on the management team.

    6. Jon Mertz says:

      Definitely deserving! It is a mindset. A choice to make. An “entitled” mindset puts in motion a disrepectful approach to many actions. A “deserving” mindset puts in motion a servant leader approach to many actions.

      Enjoyed your post. It is a simple distinction with big impacts! Thanks!

      • Kate Nasser says:

        Thank you Jon. Greatly appreciate your visit, comments, and the tweet you put on Twitter for me.
        Have a terrific weekend.

      • Kate Nasser says:

        Thank you Jon. Great appreciate your comments. In a world where quick, easy, and entitled seem to be taking over — deserving has more staying power.

        Best wishes,

    7. Catherine says:

      I “liked” this post because…

      You made an excellent point with valuable, useful content!!

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