Merge's Blog

Courtesy and respect are key to building workplace relationships

CandleWax. It’s normally rigid and brittle, but a little bit of warmth can soften it right up, and it can then be molded into any shape you please.

It’s a lot like working with people. A little bit of warmth (read: courtesy and respect) can relax and temper your relationships, and make those who work with you more flexible, agreeable and cooperative.

Warning: when it comes to relationships, your intention matters. If you’re being outwardly polite simply to manipulate another person, then you’ll quickly be found out and your scheming will backfire. However, if you honestly and deliberately treat others with consideration and courtesy, always seeking outcomes and resolutions that are win-win for both parties, then your “warmth” will bring others around to your point of view more often, and also improve the odds of your contributions in the workplace getting the attention they deserve.

Remember, respectfulness is to relationships what warmth is to wax.

So … do you agree? Do you think that more “warmth” will improve your track record in getting your ideas recognized, accepted and implemented? Please share your thoughts by adding to the Comments link below.


  • There are four critical dimensions to leadership. They include having a vision, understanding reality, having a set of values that are communicated and transparent, and the courage to take action. When taken together and executed well, they are a framework that provides the opportunity for leaders to develop the “warmth” that is described in Merge’s message. Respect for others is a critical element in igniting and sustaining the warmth in relationships that translates into other people’s willingness to be followers. Without followers, it’s not possible to be a leader.

  • Agreed Jim. So in the four critical dimensions you’ve outlined, I would say that treating others with respect falls under “having a set of values that are communicated and transparent”.


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