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RESPECT Leads to Results


Karoly Soos, Helen Conefrey

USHU strives to promote a better work culture in EU Delegations through cultivating greater RESPECT among colleagues


RESPECT: A word that that has great significance across all cultures. Nowadays though and despite considerable efforts, respect is being eroded in the workplace as colleagues are consumed by the results-oriented approach and invariably cut corners when it comes to work relations and the need to maintain a convivial and respectful working environment.


RESPECT is the alpha and Omega of effective communication, cooperation, and is fundamental to an enabling work culture. We need to ensure a culture of fairness, decency, and consideration, which improves communication, enhances learning, and increases motivation and engagement, all of which leads to better performance. More respect will have positive consequences as it significantly decreases conflict and cases of harassment.  

Respect originates from the Latin “respectus” which means “attention”, consideration, or regard. It can be defined as “regard for or of a feeling of the value or greatness of an individual, an individual’s quality or capacity, or something considered as an appearance of an individual quality or capacity.”

 Respect plays a crucial role in both our personal identity and the relationships we have with others. It is not just about showing     respect to others but also about feeling respected ourselves. Being respected is an essential part of who we are as individuals and how we relate to those around us. In fact, feeling respected is often seen as a basic human right.


Unfortunately, colleagues often witness a culture of lack of respect as they observe colleagues including managers who show little respect for others as they refuse to cooperate, communicate within and between different Delegation sections.

One colleague’s definition of respect :

 - Respect should be mutual and hierarchy should show respect to all categories of the staff, especially to local staff;

- Hierarchy should not under estimate or humiliate staff who have a lower profile at work by forbidding them from opportunities of participating in different learning opportunities or useful events;

- No one is allowed to make jokes about a country’s situation, especially political ones, as such things are sensitive and become offensive.

We can start by greeting colleagues each day, speaking in a calm voice, smiling and so on… it is not that difficult.  We can have a difference of opinion without considered our colleague as disruptive or obstinate. All perspectives are important for decisions so every opinion positive or negative should be heard and valued.  In too many Delegations there is entrenched stratification and systemic inequalities among staff categories that lead to situations where the opinion of lower-grade colleagues are not appreciated in the same way or where managers discuss among themselves and overlook the importance of consulting all staff on critical issues.


Having respect is crucial for healthy relationships, whether they are personal or professional. When we fail to show respect to others, we should not expect to receive it in return. If we do not respect ourselves, others will not respect us either.


Respect also plays a big role in our sense of security and well-being. We need to be able to express ourselves freely without fear of judgment, shame, or oppression. When we feel respected and valued by others, it boosts our self-confidence, sense of worth, and overall mental and emotional health.


In short, treating others with respect and cultivating self-respect can lead to greater happiness and fulfilment in life. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth striving for.


When we respect others and feel respected in return, it can foster positive relationships and a sense of belonging. When we have pride in ourselves and our accomplishments, it can boost our self-esteem and motivation to achieve even more.


When you respect yourself, you recognize and define your worth and value as an individual. It’s important to note that if you don’t have self-respect, it can be challenging to respect others. Developing a healthy level of self-respect starts with having confidence in yourself. Below are some fundamental beliefs that contribute to self-respect:


  • Honesty – Being honest with yourself and others is essential to self-respect.

  • Valuing education – Knowledge is a key aspect of self-respect.

  • Learning how to listen – Respecting the beliefs of others is a crucial aspect of self-respect.

  • Practicing good manners and proper conduct – This will not only make you feel good about yourself, but others will respect you for your good behavior.

  • Knowing when and how to apologize – Part of accepting responsibility is formally apologizing when necessary.


USHU is campaigning to ensure RESPECT in our EU Delegations where everybody’s opinion should be valued equally and where colleagues of all staff categories value each other and avoid offence.


Remember to acknowledge your colleague and say “Hello” next time you see them in the corridor!

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