Building a Culture of Courtesy & Respect

As a leader, are you encouraging and building a culture of courtesy and respect?

“Courtesy is respecting our difference, being considerate of each other’s feelings and being patient with people who irritate us” Rick Warren

I have a good friend that I really respect but I hadn’t seen him for a while.  A few weeks ago, I saw him and we briefly chatted, but I found him to be very distant and wasn’t engaging in conversation as he would normally do.  

My initial thought was “what’s his problem” (inside voice 😊); then I started to assess his behaviours as negative which led me to believe that he and I must be in some sort of conflict that I’m not aware of…

In the book of Titus 3:2 CEB, it states “They shouldn’t speak disrespectfully about anyone, but they should be peaceful, kind, and show complete courtesy toward everyone.” 

My questions to you is, are all of your relationships experiencing the best of you?

In any relationship, personal and professional, people struggle in their ability to be courteous towards each other, because of their personal bias is impacting their perception of others and/or situation.

Personal bias and perceptions lead people to misread and interpret the behaviour of others as being negative.  Most often, leading them to believe something totally different from the actual truth.

This type of action and behaviour will often lead leaders, like you, to experience miscommunication and tension in their working relationships, as well as personal relationships.

Personal bias is often based on our past experiences which then leads us to see and perceive others or issues in a certain way – typically perceiving different behaviours and opinions as negative and/or as personal attacks.

This creates a very dangerous and unproductive working environment.

That is why it’s extremely important for you and others to develop the awareness and understanding of the personal motivation value system – What is driving you or others to behave in a particular way and use certain strengths more than others? 

The power of truly understanding the “Why” behind people’s behaviours leads you to raise your level of appreciation and acceptance of other people’s strengths and differences.   

The results of this are the key to communication and leadership development (Relationship Intelligence) creating the ability for you to become a more thoughtful, caring and mindful leader.  

As a business leader, you will be able to inspire and motivate others to be part of a trusting, collaborative, and respectful working environment which will dramatically improve workplace relationships, communication and team performance. 

Your efforts to build a company culture where respect and trust in the workplace are encouraged and understood. These efforts will result in higher employee engagement, increased emotional intelligence, and greater employee retention. 

This is why creating a culture of courtesy and respect in the workplace is paramount. 

In the story I started above you could begin to see the start of a situation where our personal bias/perception can lead us to believe something totally different from the truth.

The fact is, even with the training I have, my natural instinct (voice in my head) immediately thought, “what’s his problem”. I know it’s not me so it must be you. You’ve probably experienced this, right?

This, unfortunately, happens to all of us in our personal and professional lives daily. The key is to understand why it’s happening and knowing how to resolve it effectively. The following steps will help you quickly work through any situation in real-time.


This is something that is done in real-time. As in, while you’re in the middle of the situation. Self-reflect on previous conversations and determine if anything was said by either party that could have been a misunderstanding.

As I started to self-reflect, I tried to figure out if I had said something that had upset him, or did I do anything cause him to go into conflict with me?

In my case, I was not aware of anything at this moment.


If the situation makes you feel uneasy it’s normal and it’s most likely because the person you are speaking with is someone that you respect or want to have a good relationship with.

Again, in my case I all the sudden found myself experiencing internal conflict over this, and the thoughts and lies I was telling myself were not very positive.

Thank goodness for my training and knowledge of Relationship Intelligence, for I was able to stop myself from continuing with my personal bias and negative thoughts.


Instead of getting mad and ending the conversation with my friend, I forced myself to better use my own strengths which helped me to reach out to my friend in a courteous, caring and thoughtful manner in my need to discover the truth.

I quickly discovered that my personal bias and perception had no merit, and my fears that we were in conflict were quickly put to rest.

The reality was that he was going through a personal situation in his marriage that was causing him a lot of heartache and stress.  This was, unfortunately, impacting his other relationships, both professional and personal. 

He was able to confide in me, and I was able to help him through this conflict with his wife by utilizing some of the coaching tools and strategies I use with my clients to overcome interpersonal conflicts and miscommunication issues.

Can you see how easily our personal perception and bias can lead us to unhealthy assumptions in our communication with others? 

Had I not approached it with the right mindset and plan, I could have easily created another conflict for him, by taking his behaviour personally.  I would have missed out on the blessing of being there for him and helping him through his real conflict – communication issues in his marriage. 

Approaching others and managing conflict with kindness, respect and the right motivation, leads you to create and experience the perfect opportunity to have meaningful conversations with people.

It’s extremely important to know how to apply the right strength(s) in order to manage and prevent relationship conflicts in your life, both professionally and/or personally. 

Stop and think about how many times you have been involved in an argument where your reaction has lead you to experience conflict with others because you interpret their behaviour as a personal attack on you?

If you’re honest with yourself it’s probably higher than you currently imagine.

What about situations where others have taken something you’ve said personally and their perception of you did not match your true intentions and motivations?

The unfortunate reality is that you’ll never know the answer to the second question because most people will never tell you if something you’ve said to them doesn’t match their personal perception of you and your intentions with the conversation you had with that person. 

Unfortunately, THIS HAPPENS EVERY DAY… ☹

As a business leader, you need to inspire and motivate others to perform, collaborate, and communicate more effectively and you must develop a working environment that fosters respect, trust, openness for others point of views and differences.

Communication issues in your organization could be costing you thousands of dollars annually and could eventually lead to workplace conflict.

If personal bias and perceptions are holding back your team from becoming more effective and productive, then schedule a free Leadership Trust Call© now. 

If you’re not quite ready to have a call then join our FREE “Transform Your Leadership Thinking In 5 Days” email course​ to get further insights on the importance of making Relationship Intelligence a key part of your Leadership Development program.

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