A friend of mine the other day, who happens to be an office manager for a dental office, told me she hates old people. Now I know she didn’t really mean that. I interpreted her comments to suggest that old people frustrate her.
The office she manages happens to be in a part of Phoenix referred to as Sun City. It’s a retirement community that only allows residents 55 and older. Their primary patients are folks that live in that community.
“Why do you hate old people?” I asked.
“It’s the way they talk to my staff and I. They constantly put us down, yell and attack us.”
“Are you doing a bad job?” I asked.
“No, that’s just it, we bend over backwards for them. They just treat us like dirt.”
So in other words, they don’t honor or treat you and your staff with dignity and respect?
“That’s it exactly,” she replied.
In order to be effective at working with others we need to treat people with dignity, honor and respect. We have to have an appreciation for who they are. For example, when we call people names, whether publically or privately, put them down, or criticize them personally, we are not treating them with respect. We are essentially tearing down bridges and causing division among people.
Let’s face it. Our society has become so accustom to this behavior we hardly even notice it any more. Side conversations putting down other people happen all the time and it’s ok. Well it’s not ok.
So how do we change this? I believe it begins with awareness and making a commitment that we are going to look for way to say and think positively about others. To look for the good in them. To make sure we are building them up rather than tearing them down.