/ ON THE FRONTLINE
Just a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T
By Cindy Campbell
EING A CHILD OF THE ‘60S AND ’70S, I grew up listening to Aretha Franklin on the radio. Her soulful
While we’re at it, let’s talk a little bit more about the concept of respect. By now, you’ve likely seen the online videos showing the outrageous behaviors of hostile, unruly airline passengers. Fellow travelers have stepped up to help overwhelmed airline personnel, even assisting to subdue violent passengers with a generous application of duct tape—so many frightening displays of chaos, hostility, and outright insanity on a regular basis. Is it just me or is anyone else not that surprised by the bad behavior being displayed in the friendly skies?
The Attitude Rudeness is on the rise everywhere. We see it in coffee shops, grocery stores, at political gatherings, sporting events, and most certainly online. This isn’t simply a personal observation—media outlets everywhere are reporting on the ever-increasing number of incidents involving aggressive disrespect and intolerance. This concerning trend has not gone unnoticed in the parking and transportation industry. I’ve lost count of the colleagues who have talked with me
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about the recent uptick in aggressive confrontations their teams are experiencing. Customer conflict and frustration is nothing new to us—we’ve encountered these outbursts as far back as I can recall. The difference now seems to be how quickly these interactions are escalating to displays of threatening behavior and potentially violent arguments. We cannot afford to sit silently waiting, hoping that society will eventually correct itself. Collectively, we need to help our team members learn new approaches and enhanced skillsets to address these bad customer behaviors. Providing training and resources to members of the frontline team who are most often on the receiving end of the aggression is essential to not only their health and well-bring but to the effectiveness and overall reputation of our organizations. Recently, a colleague who manages a large team of frontline professionals asked for advice about what their organization could do to address the level of disrespect shown to their staff by members of the public. While this is a complicated issue with no singular solution, one of the first things we must instill in our team members is the ability to appreciate and comprehend the duality of respect: If we want to receive respect, we must first extend it. This can be easier said than done when
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stylings always moved me. If you’re a fan of Aretha’s, I highly recommend seeing the new biographical movie named after her first commercial hit, “Respect.” You won’t be disappointed.