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Aretha was right.

When people show respect for each other walls come down, appreciation goes up and

things tend to get done. That’s because people like feeling like they matter. It’s also why

it’s such a bummer that common courtesy seems less common lately.

It’s easy to blame our overflowing commitments, our over-scheduled lives. But really, is it

that difficult to return that call, respond to that email, make eye contact with that colleague? Have we become that inured to the good old fashioned follow-up, the swiftly-honored RSVP?

A simple “no thanks” is infinitely more respectful to take than a no-reply. And both tell a lot about the kind of person we are, and accordingly, how people will treat us in return.

This might be my Jerry Maguire moment, but try this—starting today, make an effort to close the loop with people who reach out to you. Return that call, dash off that email, stop by that desk. Make it short and sweet if you must, but make the effort. By showing a little respect, you’ll earn a little respect. And chances are you’ll feel better for it.

And all the way home, you can hum to yourself: Sock-it-to-me –sock-it-to-me-sock-it-to-me-sock-it-to me…

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