Self-Esteem, The Importance of Respecting Ourselves

It’s almost impossible to treat others with respect on a consistent basis unless we respect ourselves first. Physical vitality, stress and how we feel about ourselves all play a role in determining our capacity for treating others with respect. A healthy self-esteem frees up valuable energy for building mutually respectful relationships. Self-esteem is the degree to which individuals feel comfortable with themselves as they are, believe that they have inherent value as individuals, and demonstrate confidence in their ability to successfully achieve their own measure of success. Healthy self-esteem supports a board range of attitudes and behaviors that are individually and organizationally beneficial. A few examples include:

  • Being more receptive to new ideas and other people’s approaches.
  • Respectfully sharing opinions that may run counter to the majority.
  • Constructively managing criticism and feedback from others.

Individuals with unhealthy self-esteem are more prone to perceptions, attitudes and behaviors that hinder their performance and often harm others. They may act in ways that reflect their own low sense of worth or in aggressive ways that attempt to make themselves feel superior to others. To aid the reader, eight helpful steps are provided for building respect for ourselves.

The Respect Effect concludes with a blueprint for respectful organizations, including three recommended paths consisting of mapping, the invitation and cultivation. Meshanko emphasizes that respect does not mean always agreeing with others. On the contrary, respectful organizations not only encourage but require the healthy exchange of different ideas. On a final note, mistakes will happen. The good news is that the cultural norms that resonate best for most people tend to be enduring. Some values and their associated behaviors simply lead to stronger, smarter and more adaptable organizations.