Respect and Seniority
When we age, or grow old, we change. In fact, people change because that’s our nature.
I once encountered a person demanding respect because of her age. According to her, I must show respect because she is older than me. She wants anyone who had offended her will apologize and must respect her ways. I found it odd and strange after I heard the word “age” and “old” was mentioned in her message. Scary and alarming.
Everyone deserves respect whether we like it or not. To respect is to give and not to demand and manipulate people on your command. Respect is like a gift and it must be from within and not forced.
In workplaces, most “old” staff, employees, or work mates (maybe excluding the boss) bullies younger and newer employees or rookies. Enforcing a culture of excellence – excellence in good habit or excellence in bad conduct. It happens in the government or in private offices and businesses.
I see a difference between new breed and old employees. It is their thinking on how they work and why they work. Some oldies will squeeze their younger peers of respect and abuses their authority and superiority.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Continuing the story above, a young and bright professional is suggesting a “new” way and better strategy in their office. The strategy is already tested from studies and is already practiced by many. The older staff, both in age and in years of service is hesitant because she is not familiar with it and sticks to old tradition of work – manual mode. The solution is discussed but the older employee does not accept it and decision went on to a stale mate. Negotiation is closed and still the old procedure is followed. No improvement, no changes needed, no adjustment made. Same old, same old. It went bitter and now it appears the older employee demands respect and must follow her direction because she is senior.
Our age or seniority is not an immunity from change. Our seniority does not make us right all the time. Just because we’ve been there and done that, we demand respect every time a change is about to happen. You can’t just say to your peers to respect you even if you’re wrong.
As we add years in our lives, we also add experience and with that we become wise.
If you’re already old, set an example of showing respect. I mean respect by giving younger minds in the workplace to learn from their supportable mistakes. Gently guide them and not by stressing you are the boss and you’re immortal. Let them learn and show respect by listening and giving younger ones a chance.
Respect is more than our manner of talking and showing gestures or facial expressions.
Respect is admiring people around you unconditionally. Like love right?
I remember a good friend working in a big company. Maybe I can say he’s a walking “company manual” or a walking “employee’s handbook”. He knows almost every detail and works hard and great. The challenge with that setup is he may see new or young employees as inferior and sub standard or not worthy of their job.
He knows how things are done and he has the power to correct employees with their performance.
The key ingredient now is doing it with reverence.
It’s not how smart you are or how high your rank and how big your pay check compared to them.
Start correcting people with love.
Magnify good things and humbly correct their mistakes. That is one way of showing them respect unconditionally. You are doing yourself a courtesy if you start showing respect or admire their good deeds and encouraging them to improve and do it right next time. We all started as beginners and not experts early in our career.
We are not right all the time and we are not perfect either. Respect.
Wherever we go, always evoke to show our admiration of people. Not because you are young and old but because we all deserve respect. Show some good manners and right conduct, like we are taught in Grade 6. Display virtuous actions and inspiring gestures.
Start treating anyone around you like a loved one without considering superiority or status of life.
If you show respect, you are surrounding yourself with favor.
Respect will come naturally like a fruit. Start planting and quit demanding respect from your workmates, churchmates, family, relatives, friends or strangers. Set an example on how to respect so they will follow.
We can change and stop the cycle of hate and bullying in every organization if we set aside our ego and give more respect.