Cultivating a Culture of Respect

If you are experiencing or seeing any of these behaviours, speak up or seek support.

  1. Person Related

    • Being humiliated or ridiculed in connection with your work
    • Spreading of gossip and rumors about you
    • Being ignored or excluded
    • Being ignored or facing a hostile reaction when you approach
    • Being the subject of excessive teasing and sarcasm
  2. Physical Related

    • Being shouted at or the target of spontaneous anger
    • Finger pointing, invasion of personal space, shoving, blocking your way
    • Threats of violence or physical abuse or actual abuse
  3. Work Related

    • Unrealistic workload
    • Withholding of information which affects your performance
    • Having your opinions ignored
    • Excessive monitoring of your work

Tips for Respectful Workplace Interaction

  • Value the many sources of knowledge that exist – respect others expertise
  • Look for places to agree, connect or support
  • Watch tone - tone is as important as the words you choose to use
  • Act in ways that edify the self-esteem of others
  • Acknowledge that I don't have to be right all of the time
  • Use "I" messages
  • Provide timely feedback – "ouch"
  • Learn to say "no" to gossip– catch yourself
  • Model good behavior – no cell phones, no side conversations during meetings
  • Seek to understand self and others
  • Value diversity
  • Consider what you really want
  • Say "Thank-you"

Strategies to Try if You Are Feeling Disrespected

  • Respectfully address the situation with the individual. You may want to practice this conversation first with a trusted colleague or one of the parties mentioned below (while confiding in one colleague for this purpose is understandable, confiding in several crosses the boundary into gossip).
  • Reach out to your supervisor
  • Reach out to your Union Steward, Faculty Association Representative, or MaPS Representative
  • Seek coaching from the assigned HR Partner.
  • Reach out to resources through the university's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
  • If situation doesn't improve, keep an incident log by date with a description of each incident in the event you want to file a formal complaint
  • Discuss the possibility of a grievance with the Faculty Association or your Union Steward, or an investigation with the assigned HR Partner.

Watch custom videos about respect at UCalgary

Dealing with Disrespectful Interactions

These videos demonstrate scenarios where employees feel disrespected, and provide guidance on possible ways to respond. An individual’s response to what they perceive to be disrespectful situations will vary based on many factors — these videos simply depict some strategies and ideas for individuals who find themselves in challenging situations.

Manager to Employee

Here’s a situation where an employee meets with his manager, whose overly directive approach is perceived by the employee as disrespectful. See how they work it out.


Conflict with a Colleague

Team members often have different styles that can sometimes lead to feelings of being disrespected. Here’s a depiction of peer-to-peer conflict and some suggestions for how to resolve it.


Academic & Staff Member

Power dynamics are at play when this staff member feels disrespected by a faculty member, but there are several actions that he and others can take to improve the situation.



Training & Workshops