Respect, Listen, Empower, and Be Civil

WRITTEN June 4, 2020 Author: Rich Atkins

re·spect    \ri-ˈspekt\     noun
a feeling that someone is important, and should be treated in an appropriate way

In the face of conflict and upset, we at Improving Communications have taken time to reflect on what has been happening in our nation, and how we can play a part in making the world a better place for everybody. These are some of the things we are doing, and encourage others to do, to increase peace:


One of our Customer Service principles (when we instruct and when we provide) is to give all internal and external customers Respect and Control. It’s what every customer wants, and when they don’t get it, they get angry and hurt.

Think about the last time you were an angry customer…

  • Did you feel like you were respected? (NO)
  • Did you feel like you had any control in the interaction? (NO)

Showing a customer respect means to convey that you value her/him in some way. Listening is a big part of that.


“To Listen” is to pay attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful attention: give consideration. Listening requires concentration. Focus allows the brain to process the meaning of the words. So listening is a two-part process, Hearing is only the first step in listening. Then, it is understanding, perhaps following with empathy and appropriate words or actions in response.

The chief block to true listening is “the self.” When “the self” steps in, listening ends. As soon as thoughts of the listener move to her/his own self, the focus has been broken. So when you’re thinking about you, you can’t listen to anyone else.


One way of giving customers some feeling of control is in offering two “yes” choices. Offering choices empowers your customer. The dissatisfaction with the choice made is reduced. What “yes” options can you offer to help others feel like they’re in control? How can you (and we) give a voice to those who need to be heard more than they are—to empower them?

Be Civil

ci·vil·i·ty    /səˈvilədē/     noun
1.     formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.

The etymology of “civility” tells us that the word comes from Latin civilitas, from civilis ‘relating to citizens’. In early use, the term denoted the state of being a citizen and hence good citizenship or orderly behavior. The sense ‘politeness’ arose in the mid-16th century.
Where it comes to being civil with others, giving of ourselves (being of service to others) is a gift for the greater good of society. Ironically, being good to others makes to world a better place for the person providing the service!

At Improving Communications, every day we strive to be our best. 
We are people who value:
Integrity – a firm adherence to a code of values
Respect – a genuine care and regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, and traditions of all.
Family – the basic unit in society that provides the primary sources of inclusion, belonging, and love.
Positivity – an affirmative, optimistic, and inclusive attitude reflected in speech and behavior.
Empowerment – a focus on promoting self-actualization and encouraging people to grow stronger and more confident.
UB4me – placing the needs or wishes of others first.

This information is discussed in our Human Resources curriculum, and specifically in our Diversity Course. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

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