On my way to a recent afternoon board meeting, I received an email 15 minutes before the meeting start time with a subject line that read: “I think I need to resign.”
As if this ambivalent subject line was not enough, the email went on to try to take the form of a resignation letter. I know that it was not malicious because I know the board member who sent it. But what troubled me the most was that in the space of co-creation or regenerativity, we have lowered our standards and lost a thread of respect that comes with certain situations. Owning responsibility for a position, whatever position that is, holds certain obligations to people, and people have feelings, sense things non-verbally and have plans of their own that may or may not affect you.
When we connect with one another, when we use our voices, the sound of our voice makes us relate to one another. I can’t hear you when I read a cryptic email. I can feel you when I hear your voice, the sound and cadence of your emotions and passion that allow me to bring empathy, understanding and compassion to a situation. These emotional connections help my brain to process new information as well as help the other person’s letting go of said information. That is communication.
This ability to emotionally connect isn’t mechanical, and it is the one thing that robots and the best Watson sensory-programmed computer will never be able to do. Our people connections, our human connections and our connection to ourselves deserve respect.
What is your definition of respect?