Respect The Dojo



When a student (or an Instructor) walks into the Training Room ("Dojo") it is customary to bow, as a show of respect.  It's general respect is for the Instructor, the specific style of Martial Art being taught, the thousands of years of History behind the style, all past Instructors, and for fellow students in the class that day.


It doesn't take away anything from the student.  in fact, by acknowledging his place in a system that is worthy of respect, the student is declaring his own place in the system, and therefore claiming respect himself.  There is power in knowing that you are being respected; by your fellow students, by the Instructor, and most importantly, by yourself.  (Almost everything starts there.)


While nobody expects you to bow at the door of your workplace, there is value (and power) in understanding your role in the business.  This part is HUGE, so I'm going to say it BIG: 





While you're "on the clock", you are being paid to make the business your first priority.  One of the most common complaints I hear from employers is that they have to "babysit" their workers, just to make sure they're doing WHAT THEY AGREED TO DO WHEN THEY WERE HIRED!


They're being paid by the hour, which means that they're also being paid by the minute, so every minute they spend texting or talking on the phone is a minute that THEY'RE STEALING FROM THE COMPANY!


Sounds extreme, I know, but those minutes add up, especially with bigger employers.  Ten employees talking on the phone for ten minutes is nearly TWO HOURS of labor that was paid for, but NOT received!  This doesn't include the lack of focus on the job, and telling co-workers about the latest Drama (sucking their time away, too).


Most employers are OK with the occasional, brief, "ride home" call, but it's a privilege that is easily and frequently abused by workers who can't understand how anybody (or any business) could be more important than their own "situation".


Here's why putting their needs first is GOOD FOR YOU:


1.  It's rare; and RARE THINGS ARE VALUABLE!

2.  Your promise to do well may be the only thing you have to sell.  Even if you have a degree, you're being paid to ADD VALUE to someone else's TEAM.  If you want to be in charge, open your own business.

3.  When the Team succeeds, individuals prosper; and Engaged Team Members are first in that line.

4.  When the Team struggles - or fails - blame starts being spread around, and self-centered, "problem" employees are first in THAT line. 

5.  As an Engaged Team Member, you're making your boss look good, and possibly getting him promoted.  This leaves a possible opening for you!

6.  When that opening is discussed, you're not in the room.  The only thing that speaks for you is your reputation.

7.  You're not just taking out the trash; you're letting the boss do HIS job without wasting his time on entry-level tasks.

8.  When the boss has to get involved with entry-level tasks, things are not going well and there is a correction coming.  Do NOT be the cause of that!


Respecting the Workplace also means making sure that the Customer has a positive experience with the Company.  When you're talking to a customer, you ARE the company (at least in their mind), and how you deal with their needs (and especially their complaints!) will make a HUGE difference in your life (I'm NOT exaggerating here).  Do you want to be the reason that they complain to the Manager, or do you want to be the person that makes sure that the Customer Comment cards are handy for compliments?




These are some of your responsibilities to your employer.  More importantly, they are a guide to a mindset that will bring you good results over time.  Responsibility goes both ways, though, and your company has obligations to you also; a safe environment, the tools and training, and clear instructions.  We'll go over how to deal with a difficult boss in another article, but your first responsibility is to make sure that you're not the problem.




There are times when company-oriented workers are ridiculed and harassed by other employees.  (We'll cover that later as well.)  To be sure, you don't want to earn the title of "Brown-Noser" (or other such nonsense) by being false, "sucking up", or making yourself look good at the expense of others.  This breaks down the team and does no good for anyone.  At the same time, however, you must understand that YOU - AND NOBODY ELSE - will determine your future.




You will be tested.


There will come a time when you must decide what to do without clear instructions or guidance.  In that moment, if your focus is on what's good for the Company and the Customer, your choice will become clear.  Even if it's not the perfect solution, it's likely to be one that everyone can live with, until you get new information.  Those are mistakes that a Boss usually finds it easy to forgive.


If, on the other hand, you take the lazy way, or worse, make the Customer suffer in any way - even an "eye roll" - you mark yourself as a problem employee.  The Company would be better off with you working for their competitors, sucking out their resources and pissing off their customers.


Respect the Dojo (the Company).  Respect yourself.