Commentary

May 2, 2014

Respect: Give it, get it

Master Sgt. HEATHER HEFNER & Master Sgt. BEN TAYLOR
61st Fighter Squadron & 56th Operations Support Squadron

In preparation for this article, the one thing that kept coming to mind was respect. We all hold a key position in the military where respect plays a huge part in our daily interaction. Unfortunately, I’m sure you have all encountered a lack thereof at some point in your career. Respect is a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important and should be treated in an appropriate way.

We believe respect is earned and each and every Airman is deserving of it. In our society we are taught to respect our elders, parents, teachers and anyone in a position of power. In the military it is embedded in our culture to show respect to higher ranking individuals, and with this comes many customs and courtesies that we’re all familiar with. For a moment, let’s take a step back and look at this in a different light.

All of us have entered an organization at some point and approached an individual sitting behind a counter who sat there and offered no greeting or assistance. Instead this person waited for us to approach them. While some would like to say this individual should have been counseled and schooled on proper customer courtesies, have you thought to whom they have been watching and following? Are they mimicking their leaders, or have they encountered the same lack of respect?

This could have been you or me years ago, and it can go full circle until someone shows them proper courtesy or respect. You see, if this individual would have just taken the small amount of time it takes to stand up, offer a simple greeting or assistance, they would have gained respect from the individual entering the organization. What could have happened if this Airman behind the counter had demonstrated this small token of respect?

If the individual behind the counter was an NCO and the customer was an Airman, that NCO just inadvertently mentored the Airman by standing up and showing respect for a fellow Air Force member. If the individual was an Airman behind the counter and the customer was an NCO or officer, that Airman just gained much respect for showing basic common courtesy and respect. These small things are what people remember about organizations and individuals.

The same could be said when talking on the telephone. Even though you are not receiving face-to-face customer service, assistance is still being provided. When calling another unit that has poor phone etiquette, what is the first thing that goes through your mind? It makes you wonder if that person wanted to be at work today, or makes you question what kind of operation that unit is running. Same goes when answering the phone with, “Sir or ma’am, how may I help you?” Set the example and show that you care. These small gestures help present a positive and professional image for you and your organization.

There are many scenarios we could cover but the bottom line is, to get respect, you need to give it, and if you give it, you will receive it.

As a leadership characteristic, remember this the next time you interact with someone on the other side of the counter or phone. By doing this, we create a more cohesive working environment for all Airmen in this world’s greatest Air Force!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

No man is an island Have you heard these words before? Maybe spoken them about yourself or another individual? Possibly you have read the John Donne prose found in Meditation 17, “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions,” or you’ve heard the song “No Man is an Island” by the band Tenth Avenue North. Perhaps you have tried...
 

 
entire_workbook

Fly Over: ‘Paddington’ and ‘Financial Peace University’

On DVD: ‘Paddington’ I have a confession to make — I do not have any children. There, I’ve said it. And yet, I have seen my fair share of family movies, from Disney and Pixar to classics like, “The Princess Bride.” ...
 
 
smith_d2

To do or to be? – A very good question

Col. Daniel Smith I am a huge fan of the Air Force core values. For a long time, I have felt that whatever board or individual developed the values got them absolutely right. In fact, every Airman, young or … seasoned, who co...
 
 
Top-3-Council

Airman — The Air Force asset

The most important asset to the Air Force is the Airman. Regardless of rank, Air Force specialty code, position, gender, age and experience, each of us still needs guidance, validation, and most of all, honesty. So how do you t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>