The business cemetery is filled with the gravestones of managers whose poor judgment led to inappropriate words or actions. The best possible advice you’ll ever receive is to think before you execute those inappropriate words or actions. At the heart of inappropriate or politically incorrect actions is a lack of respect for others. Keep uppermost in your mind the need to treat individuals and situations with dignity and professionalism. This simple guideline will help you avoid the fatal errors others have made.

Respect can be demonstrated in both micro and macro fashion. For example, if you simply ask, “Is this a good time?” before ...

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