How can you get One Grip Higher today? Show someone respect first! For some strange reason, this is really difficult. We really don’t like to give respect until we get it! Every day I hear students and staff wrestling with the issue of respect. Here are a few types of things I hear in the halls of my school.

I ain’t gonna give no respect ’til I get some!”

You don’t know me! Show some respect!”

He needs to show me respect before I will…

If I had a dollar for every time I heard statements like those in the halls of my school I wouldn’t need to save for retirement. You might be thinking something like, “Obviously, those statements we’re said by students.” However, although adults don’t put it in those words exactly, we often communicate the very same thing with our interactions with each other and with students. We often select the quality and character of our responses to students and peers based on the treatment we receive from them. This leads to a continual unresolved tension and often feels like we aren’t making head way. This is our own fault… all to often, we fail to initiate a respect cycle by feeding the disrespect around us. Things won’t change, and our influence will not grow until we learn to give respect first.

I’m currently reading a book by Eric Jensen called “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” (a summary of the salient points will be forth coming in a future post). He suggested something that really jumped of the page to me. “Give respect to students first, even when they seem to least deserve it.” I would only add, “Give respect to everyone first.” Clearly everyone values respect, but few of us are willing to float it out there first. Imagine how much could get accomplished if we all respected everyone else! It is kinda like the old “Chicken or the Egg” analogy… What comes first? Do you wait until you get it? Or do you take the risk and offer respect and hope it doesn’t get abused?” Rather than take the risk, most people hold it back. Often without even realizing it.

Imagine how much influence you could have if everyone respected you! So how do we get respect? Well everyone is shouting it, but we aren’t listening! “I ain’t gonna give no respect ’til I get some!” So I propose we take everyone at their word and start giving respect, even when they don’t deserve it.

Reasons Giving Respect First is a Good Idea:

  • You Will Be Respected: Giving respect is the only way to get it.
  • You Will Be Influential: If we want to influence people we need their respect.
  • You Will Be Well Received: Everyone is asking for it… So you know it will be well received.
  • You Will Be Liked: People almost always respond well when they are respected.

    You Will Be Happier With Yourself: You will be having a positive impact.

So I challenge us to start the respect cycle with people who don’t deserve it.

Putting it into Practice: Text someone right now and show respect first. Choose someone you don’t normally build up. I promise you it I’ll only improve your relationship and increase your influence… This is just another way for you to get One Grip Higher!


One thought on “One Grip Higher: Give Respect Before It’s Earned

  1. Jason, your blog is great! I am reminded by your writing how important reflection is in our line of work. You have inspired me to take time out to question, celebrate, and grow! (My goal is one time a week! These kids( Trev and Lex) really put a wrench in the “ME” time!) kp

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