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Respect. You Have to Earn it… right?

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

We’ve all heard, or maybe even thought, ‘if they respect me, then I’ll respect them,’ but is that really the best way to approach our interactions with others?


When I say ‘respect’ you probably think of it in the traditional sense: a genuine, heartfelt regard for someone else. This can be what you’ve personally experienced or based on their reputation.



When we show someone sincere respect, it is all about the other person and is:

· Developed through a personal connection,

· Based on your common values, and

· Earned by the way they treat you.


But in life, and especially on the job as security guards, security professionals, private investigators or law enforcement officers, we are simply not going to have that connection with everyone we meet. Some people will have committed criminal offences, or done terrible things, and some will be extremely disrespectful to us. We cannot expect anyone to automatically respect us, even if we want them to. The more challenging the situation is, the more important it is to think a little differently.




Tactical Respect


Tactical Respect is a mindset that will help to lead to a favourable outcome for everyone involved. It's being professional (and human) at all times, especially during conflict. Choosing to show tactical Respect to others is critical, especially when interacting with people whose behaviour is challenging, or those who are used to being disrespected. It's seeing the dignity of every person. Ensuring everyone you meet feels heard and valued means they are more likely to treat you in the same way. It's leading by example. It's giving respect first and thereby potentially earning respect second.


Tactical Respect is all about you and is:

· Created through a professional connection,

· Based on your choice, and

· Given, to stay safe and build a positive reputation in the industry.



Choosing to show tactical Respect isn’t about whether you do your job or not, it’s about how you do your job. It's also not about letting people take advantage of you, being cocky, arrogant, or thinking that you're better than others. You are friendly and willing to listen, but you are firm and you have a job to do. You are a professional and when you treat others with dignity and respect in all situations, and you win them over and make it more difficult for them to behave badly, verbally and physically. It’s about staying safe and leaving people feeling as good or even better than they did when they met you. This can end up giving you a good reputation with everyone you deal with.


Can you think of a time when you kept your cool and showed respect to someone who maybe wasn't respectful to you? What happened? If you haven't done this yet, we recommend you try it and see for yourself how well it works. It's not easy and may take some time to practice, but it will pay off.

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