“When someone disrespects you, beware the impulse to win their respect. For disrespect is not a valuation of your worth but a signal of their character.” Brendon Burchard
Powerful words from Brendon Burchard. Often, we tend to take it upon themselves to earn the respect of those who treat us disrespectfully.
Here is a scenario. Sarah is a consultant at a prestigious firm, and she creates a slide deck for a client presentation working day and night. With painstaking analysis, thoughtful narrative, powerful graphics, her slide deck was aesthetic and analytical. Sarah took a lot of pride in her work.
Sarah sent the presentation to her team a full 48-hours the client meeting. Her immediate colleagues offered some refinements and some comments — nothing from the senior leadership.
Come the day of the presentation, two hours before the meeting, Sarah’s boss, the boorish, know-it-all senior partner at the firm, shreds apart the premise and the promise of the deck. It was as if he has not bothered to read before the conversation and he was not in a mood to listen to the rationale in the pre-meeting. He asked the team to create a 10-page deck all new based on an outline he drew on the whiteboard. The team did as asked.
Then in the meeting, the partner spoke for most of the time, and nothing Sarah and her team have done figured in the conversation. Based on the partner’s monologue, the client wasn’t happy and thought the expensive consulting team did not understand the real issues.
Soon after the meeting the partner lay the blame on Sarah and the team, and asked to be better the next time.
Should Sarah strive for getting respect for this partner? Is it even possible to gain validation from him given that he does not read, listen, or understand the work the team has done? Is there value in trying to please the partner? (Of course, in consulting firms, promotions to partner are at the mercy of senior partners, and Sarah and her team may be forced to bear the brunt of this boorish partner begrudgingly.)
Instead of respect from the partner, it may be a better idea to earn the respect of the client and do the best work you can do. Ignoring the ignoramus is probably the best rather than react to his diatribes.
Have you seen this type of scenarios elsewhere in your personal and work life?
Do you think it is better to avoid that impulse of pleasing those who disrespect you and earn their respect? Instead, should we focus on two things that matter: 1) Live your life true to your values. 2) Show respect to others not because of who they are, but because who you are.
Agree? Disagree? What experiences have you had personally in dealing with disrespect from people you know? Please share your thoughts.
Please read more Wisdom Stories.
More about Brendon Burchard: