Mutual respect is an integral part of communication

Once upon a time, at the company canteen, employees
were talking among themselves. They started their
conversation with topics like sports and entertainment.
Thereafter, they talked about rising costs, inflation,
unemployment and poverty. Then, they talked about
business opportunities, stock market and the economy.
Soon, they came to politics, which they argued at length and
hotly debated.

Different opinions were presented and since many
employees had strong political leanings, the discussion
turned into arguments favoring their respective political
ideologies and parties. They tried to communicate their own
viewpoints aggressively, while criticizing the viewpoints of

Conflicting opinions boiled to such a state that one
employee rudely commented to another, “You cannot
understand what I am saying, because your level of thinking
is low.” The other employee was shocked to hear such
words, but he calmly said, “You can disagree with me as long
as you do not become disagreeable. Now, since you have
become disagreeable, I can no longer communicate with

All the employees, sensing personal attacks, suddenly
became silent. After a brief lull, some employees again
started conversing, on topics like the quality of the food, the
facilities provided by the canteen, and so on. Conversation
continued among the employees, but communication had

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani