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Ten Rules for Respect

by Charles Christian

Interact Magazine 2001

Volume 12 Number 2

1. If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).

2. If I have a problem with you, I’ll come to you (privately). 

3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me (I’ll do the same for you).

4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go together. I’m sure he/she will see us about this.”

5. Be careful how you interpret me—I’d rather do that. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misrepresent intentions.

6. I will be careful how I interpret you.

7. If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If anyone comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell unless the person is going to harm himself/herself, or physically harm some one else, or a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.

8. I do not read unsigned letters or notes.

9. I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated; don’t let others manipulate you; don’t let others manipulate me through you.

10. When in doubt, just say it. If I can answer without misrepresenting something or breaking a confidence, I will.

Charles Christian pastors a Nazarene church in the US. He took on the pastorate aged 25, and soon encountered a number of conflict issues within his congregation, which led him to develop these principles.

Reprinted from ‘Leadership’ Summer 1999, p.55

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