I Don’t Want To Respect You
And I don’t want your respect, either. A lot of folks in the Lean community stress the importance of respect. And yes, respect sounds nice – and might indeed be an improvement on the less-than-respectful way many folks relate to each other in workplaces today.
But respect (root: specere – to look at; re – back, or again) implies judgement. Moralistic judgement. And there’s no way I want to judge you – or anyone for that matter. God knows I’m having enough trouble weening myself off that particular human foible.
So, if I’m not happy to respect people, what then? Disrespect? Indifference?
No. I’m happy when I can give – and receive – some empathy. Just being fully present for people, during their crises, during their joyful moments. Any time, really. Oh, and some compassion sweetens the deal. And from empathy, it’s but a short hop, skip and jump to attending to folks’ needs. And the joy that can bring to all concerned.
And if you tell me I have no choice. That I should respect people. That I have to respect people. Then that upsets me.
I guess that puts me beyond the pale, as far as the Lean folks go. Although, in their frame, perhaps they might be willing to find it in themselves to respect my point of view?
Or, perhaps, the choice of the word “respect” is a rather unfortunate error of translation. Perhaps the original Japanese term 人間性尊重 as used by Toyota, meaning
“Holding precious what it is to be human”
would have been more helpful? I feel that’s something I can get behind. Indeed, it’s very similar to Marshall Rosenberg’s stated purpose for Nonviolent Communication:
“Connecting with what’s alive in others and ourselves.”
How about you?
The Equally Important “Respect For People” Principle ~ Bob Emiliani
Exploring the “Respect for People” Principle of the Toyota Way ~ Jon Miller
Spiritual Basis of Nonviolent Communication ~ Marshall Rosenberg
Aikido – The Way Of Harmonious Spirit ~ Elizabeth Reninger