Do people on your team multitask in meetings or focus on the person speaking?
The answer to that question will help you demonstrate how much your organization prioritizes consideration, one of the “7 Forms of Respect” in Julie Pham’s new book of that name.
Don’t worry, it’s not about setting the rules. Pham doesn’t offer advice on opening or closing laptops in meetings, for example. Instead, it provides a way to establish and communicate the priorities of different people, teams, and companies — defining organizational culture not in abstract concepts but in desired behavior.
That insight is key to understanding and benefiting from the new book by Pham, a Seattle-based entrepreneur, marketer, consultant, journalist, historian and former nonprofit executive. It’s called The 7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work.
“One of the big misconceptions about the 7 forms of respect is that I tell people how to respect—that these are seven forms and you have to be respectful in all these different ways,” says Pham. Instead, she explains, “you’ll prioritize some and de-prioritize others, and you may find some to be disrespectful.”
As defined by Pham, the “7 forms of respect” are: procedure, accuracy, information, honesty, appreciation, recognition and attention.
For example, in an accounting team, procedure may be the most important form of respect. In an engineering team, it can be honesty. The idea is to communicate and understand what is most important to different people and teams.
“People say, ‘Oh, I don’t like the company culture,'” she says. “Part of that is because they haven’t really articulated what the company culture is. … Often, when people describe company culture, they use these big vision words, like, we are innovativewe’re forward-looking. But they don’t use manners words.”
Prioritizing desired behavior is especially important for morale in times of great change, such as now, Pham says. “Then it’s clear to people: ‘Should I stay here? … Is this the right place for me? … Should I join this company?”
Pham, who holds a doctorate in history from Cambridge University, is known to many in Seattle tech for her past work as vice president of community engagement at the Washington Technology Industry Association. Her experience also includes running a Vietnamese-language family newspaper, Northwest Vietnam newsin Seattle.
In this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, Pham discusses the practical applications and benefits of the “7 Forms of Respect” with GeekWire co-founder John Cook.
Listen above or subscribe to GeekWire on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen.
Audio editing and production by Curt Milton.