Why You Aren’t Getting The Respect You Deserve

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Feeling unappreciated and disrespected? We’ve all been there. So how can you shift things in your organization so that you can start receiving the respect you deserve?

The answer lies in expanding your beliefs. Because when we expand our beliefs, we create new behaviors. And through these behaviors, we are able to authentically give and receive respect. Let’s unpack this.

Every moment we are bombarded with sensory information. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory information is constantly coming our way via our five senses. The way we interpret this sensory input contributes to how we structure our experience of the world. The senses that most dominate our behavior are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, so we’ll focus on those three.

What we call “thinking” is actually a series of pictures, sounds, and feelings that go by at light speed in our brains.

How You Create Experiences

As we interact with the world around us, we internally store images, sounds, feelings, smells, and tastes that craft our experience.

Think of your favorite place in your home. Chances are good you just called up a picture. We’ll call these visuals, or Vs in neuro-shorthand. Sometimes our brain distorts stored pictures (Vs) to give them different meanings. Maybe we don’t want the intensity of a full-color picture so we store it in black and white, or maybe our brain wants to prevent us from repeating a dangerous experience so we store it in overpowering color.

Additionally, when we have or recall an experience, our brains hear sounds, which can be tones or words either outside ourselves (existing in the environment) or inside ourselves (talking to ourselves, hearing an old soundtrack). Think of the last time you made a mistake and internally said, “I can’t believe I did that! Sheesh!” That’s an internal soundtrack. Think of the sound of a phone ringing. That’s an external soundtrack. We’ll call these sounds auditory input, or As in neuro-shorthand.

Our visual and auditory experiences lead to feelings, or kinesthetic responsesor Ks in neuro-shorthand. Maybe your shoulders are tight, or you feel a knot in your stomach. These physiological feelings are now translated into emotions you can name, such as fear, excitement, joy, or anger.

From these Vs, As, and their generated Ks, our prefrontal cortex makes meaning about the world, other people, situations, and ourselves. The meaning we make about these experiences formulates our beliefs.

Deletions, Distortions & Generalizations Impact Your Beliefs

Before we discuss beliefs, we must understand that the brain is a “meaning-making machine” that deletes, distorts, and generalizes information. Every second, overwhelming amounts of information come our way, and we filter that information to make sense of it by deleting a lot of what we deem not relevant or useful, so only some of it gets through. Otherwise we would experience information overload!

The brain also distorts information. For example, how often do you hear someone respond to the question “How are you?” with “Nothing is wrong with me!” The question was distorted to be the assertion “Something is wrong with you.” However, distortion also has its uses. It is what allows us to be creative. For example, a musician can listen to a song and create a new version of it as his or her unique expression.

Beliefs are generalizations about experiences, based on the meaning our prefrontal cortex has generated. For example, the brain generalizes that a chair is a chair, and objects that resemble a chair-like structure are appropriate for sitting. This is useful. That way, we don’t have to figure out whether or not we can sit on a particular object every time we walk into an office.

Another example is when we see someone point a finger at another and assume that the person doing the pointing is rude. “Everyone who points their finger like that is a rude person!” is a generalization and a belief.

Our beliefs about the world, others, situations, and ourselves drive our behavior. Beliefs about ourselves lie at a deeper level and are called identity. So in a stressful situation, when a person believes, “I can do this, and our team will get through this,” these beliefs reinforce his or her identity and his or her team’s identity as being solid and capable. As a result, the person with the “solid and capable” identity has the behavior of handling things and moving forward, while others may be panicking. Their behavior matches their identity.

When we expand our identity, we create new behaviors. This applies to leaders and to their individual team members. Through this shift, a new baseline is created in the organization and each individual member will begin to give and receive respect that is based in truth, rather than through distortions, deletions and generalizations.

How can you start this shift in your organization?

Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

Learn More


Want Your Boss To Respect You? Do These 6 Things

*As originally seen on

*As originally seen on

Do people respect you?

Respect is often defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. The key word is elicited. Our actions and the outcomes we create are directly proportional to the amount of respect we think we should have and the amount of respect we think we should receive. While you can’t control or make your boss respect you, you do have the power to work towards earning that respect based on the outcomes you achieve, your attitude and other elements that I will discuss here shortly.

Want Your Boss To Respect You? Do These 6 Things


When working with my executive coaching clients, the subject of respect comes up frequently. Either they are challenged with not feeling respected or they feel that they have been disrespected by an individual higher up on the organizational chart. We discuss what respect means to them, how they feel it should be demonstrated and break down what meaning they are making around their boss’ words and actions. If they are looking to stand up, stand out and earn the respect of their boss, I walk them through six proven ways that will ensure they gain and keep respect in their organization.

1. Communicate Effectively And Often: Communication ensures alignment and connection. Any challenge can be resolved with authentic heart-felt communication. When in doubt, over-communicate so that your boss knows what’s going on and everyone knows what is expected and what is needed. Concise communication raises your status, saves everyone time, and moves the ball forward. Communication creates visibility and transparency—both of which help your boss make better decisions.

2. Model Integrity: Make your word your bond. Honor confidentiality. Keep your commitments, communicate in advance if you are going to be late and always be a reliable trusted team member. Ensure that your boss doesn’t need to check in on you by consistently delivering on time and per your commitment. Walk your walk and talk your talk. Focus on details and deliver accurate work.

3. Reflect Consistently: Make time to reflect on yourself, the clients, the company so that you learn how to improve and serve others best. Identify behaviors you want to shift and seek the support you need. If things aren’t going as you want, look into how you created the breakdown. Then fix it. Lessons are when we learn once. Mistakes are when we continuously repeat the same blunder. Avoid this at all costs.

4. Be An Active Contributor:

Be proactive, take initiative, bring solutions and never wait for someone to tell you what to do – anticipate and make a difference. Add value far beyond the scope of what you are paid for. The result? You’ll be a valued tribe member and get promoted. Again and again.

5. Continuously Learn And Raise Your Bar: Be a continuous learner. Be committed to growing and stretching into new definitions of yourself and your capabilities. Accept feedback as an opportunity to grow, and then implement the learning you have received. Get excited about what you could do and become with new skills that you take action to cultivate.

6. Be Optimistic And Energetic: Bring great energy and passion to your work. Don’t think of your position as a job, think of it as a mission, an opportunity to transform and support people who support and transform others.

 If you continuously demonstrate that making a difference in the lives of others is important and meaningful to you you’ll go far.

The key is to model the above behaviors consistently, this isn’t a “one and done” formula. Your values and your efforts will be recognized in your organization and by your boss. Remember, you can’t make someone respect you. You can make consistent effort to earn respect and at the end of the day, the person whose respect you need the most, is your own.