by Ron Jennette, President & CEO, Methodist Retirement Communities

ICARE stands for Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. In our system, ICARE is a primary focus for recruiting, retaining and training along with employee evaluations and recognition. ICARE is also a platform for “hospitality with teeth”, laying the foundation for a culture where the best want to work in serving those who once cared for us. In this blog, we’ll look at Respect and the role it plays in all MRC communities.

Respect refers to giving the other person his/her due. In the MRC system, we believe we are all children of God created equal in the sight of God. While we each have different responsibilities in the workplace and at home, we are all necessary and important to accomplish the greater good of making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Here are some of the key points we’ve discussed internally about RESPECT:

  • Respect means following the Golden Rule, and being the first to apply it.
  • Respect is keeping the focus on MRC’s mission of service ministry, not self first.
  • Respect means honoring and learning from those we serve, appreciating they once cared for our generation, and now is our chance to give something back.
  • Respect means giving our full attention to the mission – those we serve. It requires making eye contact, being empathic to their situation and mindful of their feelings.
  • Respect means fully accepting others, understanding their boundaries without trying to impose our will upon them.
  • Respect does not allow us to be dismissive of others, essentially devaluing them.
  • Respect never allows us to lower ourselves to name calling.
  • Respect means NO gossiping whatsoever! There is no excuse for talking negatively behind the back of another child of God.
  • Respect requires us to avoid making assumptions about others. It means resisting the urge to fill in unknown facts about a person with something inaccurate, which can lead to hurt feelings.

Sometimes, the lack of respect occurs because we wait for others to respect us first. This occurs when we forget the adage, “You get what you give.” If we show respect in a genuine manner while expecting nothing in return, we will more often than not receive back the respect that we desire.

The beautiful thing about the people we serve in the MRC system is that it is so easy to respect them. Our residents are the people who paved the way for our future, sacrificing and giving of themselves to make this world a better place for those who came after them. Some were teachers, some served in the military so we could be free, some were business people, some were housewives, some were ministers; and all made a positive difference in our lives. How can anyone not respect that? By the same token, it is also easy to respect staff who, through their actions and words, appreciate and show respect and admiration for the wonderful people we serve.