Our approach to developing a culture of respect

March 20, 2023

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Respect is one of Two Wheel View’s most important values and it sits at the foundation of everything we do as an organization. While everyone has a different notion of what respect means, our favourite definition refers to the ‘ability to value and honour another person, both his or her words and actions, even if we do not approve or share everything he or she does’.[1] This explanation unites the concepts of diversity, understanding and tolerance, and reflects our desire to create environments and build communities that foster positive thinking and treatment of others, regardless of differences.

Why is respect one of our values?

We know that respect has numerous positive benefits – for ourselves and for the participants in our programs. Being respectful ofothers, being respected and respecting ourselves increases our self-esteem, self-efficacy, mental health, and well-being.[2] If we want to see behavioural change and help young people develop social and emotional skills, respect is imperative to helping us achieve these goals.

We recognize that respect starts with a single person – ourselves – and this is why we also value authenticity. We strive to acknowledge the different strengths and weaknesses of everyone in our team and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, whatever those may look like. This helps us all to feel successful. It is important for us as individuals to feel like equal, contributing members of the workplace so respect is a fundamental expectation for staff at Two Wheel View. As members of an organization that seeks to make a difference, we feel that being treated with respect and trust allows us to be creative and passionate about our job and to share that passion with the kids.

Developing a culture of respect is critical to helping us achieve our mission because our programs bring together people from all demographics – different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. In order to do the work we do – which requires the breakdown of barriers and the building of trust - we need all participants to respect each other, other cultures, beliefs and ways of life. Respect is key to building and fostering an inclusive space for everyone. It’s the attitude of respect for diverse experiences and different circumstances that allows us to create a safe environment for change.

Encouraging respect at Two Wheel View

Two Wheel View staff at work in the office

Two Wheel View encourages respect by modeling and by being explicit about what it means. This starts with the type of individuals we have working in the organization – people who are involved because they believe in what Two Wheel View is trying to achieve and who are already aligned with our values. Through their actions and behaviours, our staff members model respect and thereby promote and attract like actions from everyone they interact with.

As a team, we model respect in the very way we operate. First and foremost, respect is cultivated in the way everyone is treated – with autonomy and honesty. We also strive for transparency, communication and connection and operate an open door policy at all levels. As a team, we have a strong connection and a high level of trust, which fosters an innate respect among team members. Our weekly meetings sharing a meal and sitting around a table together helps us to build real relationships steeped in the appreciation and value of each other. The members of our team aim to treat everyone with respect and just as importantly, ask for that in return.

In our programs, we encourage respect through inclusivity, modesty, listening to everyone, being open minded and learning what we can about safe spaces and community building – from the young people just as much as anyone else. We take the time to analyze our work with youth and volunteers and make changes that adopt new understanding and appreciation for continually changing individual and cultural differences. We communicate regularly with our partner organizations and community members to ensure we are honouring our side of any partnership we are in and to show respect for their contribution. This helps us build a stronger community and make a greater impact.

Respect is a difficult concept to talk about and teach, partly because it can manifest in many different ways in countless different situations. However, we believe that regardless of our differences, everything and everyone is deserving of respect.  At Two Wheel View, respect starts with ourselves and extends to others, our community, nature and wider culture.

[1], [2]Salazar, A. (2017). Respect: What is it, types, examples, learn and teach respect. CogniFit.

https://blog.cognifit.com/respect/. Retrieved August 20, 2018.

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Intentional community building should not be overlooked. When we come together, we talk through our insecurities, our uncertainties and share stories to help us better understand each other and the world we live in.

TWV Team Member

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