Respect Is Now Shown By Keeping Our Distance

Hugs. Warm handshakes. As a facilitator I spent a lot of time observing people as they walked into a training and greeted their colleagues. A hug was the accepted way of greeting a colleague one had not seen in a while. I could tell in milliseconds who respected whom and how well people knew each other. As we return to our workplaces and begin interacting with colleagues whom we have not seen in months, the acceptable greeting would have been the hug or warm handshake. But present circumstances have taken this away from us. Respect is now shown by keeping our distance. Wearing a mask. Using interoffice communications (phone, email, text, chat, yelling through walls) as opposed to a hug or handshake. I went to my office to prepare for reopening and another senior leader was there. I yelled through my door, “I need to leave my office to go to the ladies room, let me know when you are out of the hallway.” The reply was, “Okay, all clear, and thank you, I appreciate it.” I put on my mask, waited a bit and exited my office. Demonstrating respect and caring looks very different now than 3 months ago. But no matter what the context, didn’t respect always mean caring about what made someone else comfortable, helping them feel safe, and acting accordingly? #workplaceculture