The fact that you need to treat others respectfully should go without saying.
However, how do you think about people? What traits do you focus on? What is it that occupies your mind about the individuals in your professional network?
Too often we spend our time thinking about people's faults. It makes us feel better to ponder areas where they fail. If all you see is someone's shortcomings, how can you really admire them? Without admiration, can you show them respect?
Each morning when I look at my calendar I review the list of people whom I will encounter during my day. These people include co-workers, clients, prospects, referral sources and family members (mainly my wife and children). I then think of two things I admire about each person. By spending the time to look for positive traits, it makes all of my interactions with others much more enjoyable.
Yes, sometimes you have to deal with difficult people (and some you do not even like), but my father told me that you can always find something good in everyone. The older I get, the smarter my dad appears. He is right. You can always find something that you respect in the people you encounter in your business and personal lives.
When your mind is in tune with the postive traits in others, your conversations will be more pleasant. You do not even need to tell them about what you admire, your respect just shines through.
Think about your boss....what two things makes him amazing?
Think about your biggest client....what is it that makes her successful?
Think about anyone you met at a networking event last week...what made her stand out from the crowd?
Think about your husband or wife...what two things make you proud of them?
How about your children....why are they special?
When you focus on why you respect another, it keeps your dialogue more positive. Do not fall into the easy trap of finding another's weakness. That leads to disdain, gossip and superficial relationships. To build strong and true relationships you need to have respect.
Be in tune with what makes people special. Then treat them as the spectacular person that they are.
Have A Great Day.