I watched a young teenage boy today, jump out of his seat at a local salon, to open the door for an elderly woman. She smiled and thanked the young man for his kindness. Just a few days earlier I overheard a conversation while waiting in line at the grocery store and two middle aged women were sharing how much they loved and respected their new fitness trainer because he demonstrated so much knowledge and really cared to help them get the results they wanted.

When you hear someone talking negatively about him or herself, with demeaning words, their lack of self-respect is hard to listen to. It keeps them in bondage to a life of self-inflicted pain and disappointment. Just this weekend I attended a FranklinCovey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People workshop and we learned the very important value of respect in our relationships personal and professional. Showing respect by really listening with complete focus on what someone is sharing with you. How critical respect is when you are in a win-win conversation with someone or in a group to the outcome of the interchange.

As I consider times in my life where I have lacked respect for someone or a situation, it has cost me dearly. Losing respect due to your actions or words can take a long time to earn respect again. Critics today often times say we are a society that no longer models respect for each other, or even between nations. I’d like to challenge that thinking and champion respect as a choice that each of us can make moment by moment. With a mindset of showing respect we can deliberately make a difference in our relationships, communities, and professional lives.

Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” – Laurence Sterne

If you struggle having respect for people, and you are reading this, it’s probably time to do a self-check on why it’s so difficult. Our parents taught us to respect others at a very young age. It came right along with learning our manners in how you act and treat people. Respect is such a positive feeling and it fills the air around you wherever you go and in everything you say and do. Over the last two years, I had the honor to have a seasoned mentor come into my life. I so admired him. His humble spirit, his high regard for others, his international experiences brought a wealth of value to our conversations, and to my life. We shared mutual respect for one another.

Will you join me today and be a champion for respect?