The word RESPECT is used as part of the process we have called The Circle of Trust. It is in fact the starting point in the process; to begin with respect for another person. From time to time though, we receive push back on this issue, with those who claim that “Respect is earned not given”. It is hard to argue with that point when one uses a classic definition of respect. Let’s dig into that further.

What is Respect?

The dictionary, in this case,, gives several definitions for respect as both a noun as well as a verb. In the classic sense, they suggest that respect is, “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.” This seems to support those who claim respect is earned. We don’t discredit this definition, and in many situations, believe it, but we will get back to this point later.

If you were to continue to scroll through the possible definitions you will see another. Respect is (also) “deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment”. It is this definition we defer to at the beginning of the circle of trust. Respect for another human being; deference to their rights associated with that distinction.

Respect is a Necessary Component in Trust

Respect for another is central in establishing a basis for trust. If we cannot respect each other, we cannot trust each other. Trust is necessary in order to establish a relationship. Developing a relationship is a primary need in order to conduct business with one another.

We agree that this definition of respect is not enough by itself to establish trust. Trust is a construct that is not easy to come by; it takes work. It takes a persistent and consistent effort. The Circle of Trust is therefore a process that will enhance one’s ability to create trust and therefore develop the type of relationship necessary to conduct ongoing business.

Circle of Trust

The Circle of Trust is just that, a cyclical process. While it does have a starting point, once started it does not end. In fact, the starting definition of respect does alter during this process. It moves from the respect that is given, to on which is earned. The process within the circle continually builds upon itself. The respect that now is earned is enhanced through each cycle. The trust that is developed only grows deeper as we continue to use the tools.

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