By: Dr. Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health
The last, but by no means least, core value that I am writing about in the newsletter is RESPECT. As I write this article, I cannot get the late, great Aretha Franklin and her famous song about R-E-S-P-E-C-T out of my head, but let me try to explain what I mean by respect and why it’s so important to us at NKYHealth.
First of all, did you know that the word RESPECT can be both a noun and a verb? As a noun, RESPECT is that really good feeling we get when someone holds us in high regard – when we feel like our insights and perspectives are valued even if they are different from others. For example, “I feel the respect of my co-workers because they listen to my creative solutions to problems.” RESPECT can also be a verb, meaning to think highly of or to hold in high esteem. For example, “My supervisor respects my ability to deal with unhappy customers.”
Regardless of whether it’s a noun or verb, RESPECT for NKYHealth means that we embrace diversity and approach all people and ideas with dignity and open minds. Respect for others conveys a willingness to accept that we are all different and that’s okay. We all have diverse life experiences and our brains are wired differently, so we must continually learn how to work together, to serve sometimes difficult people, and to appreciate the value that we all have in our worksites. It makes us a better organization and it helps us live our mission more fully.
Just keep in mind that RESPECT is not just a thought or feeling. We convey RESPECT by our actions – how we treat each other – and by how we communicate with others – our tone of voice, the words we use in emails, even our body language. If we want to convey a feeling of respect, it’s all in how we speak and act towards others.
So as I close out this series of articles on our NKYHealth Core Values, in memory of an icon, let me paraphrase Aretha and say, “all we’ve got to have is a little RESPECT”. It helps make us NKYHealth.