I think it is important to consider the premise that the way we treat others is likely an indication of how we treat ourselves. As an example, if we are mean to others we can put ourselves in a foul mood. When we are uncaring or indifferent we can become empty inside. Leo Babuata at www.zenhabits.com describes this very thoughtfully (Kindfully and Mindfully, May 11/10).
The essence of respect stems from being present and mindful of every interaction with every human being. It starts with the simple things. How about just recognizing that when we go through a door, there might be someone behind us, instead of letting it “slam.” Perhaps that is a metaphor, keeping the door open for every person we interact with.
Kindness and presence takes practice. But when we act this way to others, I genuinely feel that we treat ourselves similarly and the goodwill becomes reinforcing.
The work environment is a fertile place for acting with respect. If we are mindful of every interaction with colleagues and customers and recognize that we are doing to ourselves… well, the outcame can be powerfully positive.
Now how do you want to respond to that email?