Gregg Ward is my kind of guy. After years of sifting through numerous corporate and leadership advice books, the often maligned nonfiction subcategory has hope yet. With the release of Restoring Respect, Ward comes across as warm, affable, and genuine. He also genuinely knows his stuff, and with the promotion of his corporate philosophy CfR (Coaching for Respect), he lays a systematic, pragmatic groundwork for an increasingly postmodern and improved workplace model.


Coaching for RespectTM is a ten-step process that uses concepts around respect and disrespect, along with relationship coaching, psychology, and conflict and alternative dispute resolution techniques to facilitate and support the restoration of some level of respect to, and the repair of, work relationships that have become dysfunctional due to loss of respect,” Ward explains in a key passage. “So, if you have colleagues who have fallen out with each other due to perceived disrespectful behaviors, and if you have the willingness, the positional authority, the coaching and conflict resolution skills, and the patience to try something supportive and collaborative first, and if the participants are genuinely willing for you to try this strategy with them, and if legal and HR have signed off (I know, that’s a lot of ‘ifs’), then the CfR process may be exactly what’s needed to help turn that relationship around.”

He continues, “At the Center for Respectful Leadership…we believe the CfR process is a viable option when people lose respect for each other. It’s something every organization should consider trying first (even if they rule it out), before moving on to more formal, investigative, disciplinary, and legal remedies. At the core of this process is a simple question: what do you respect in the other person?

We’ve found that when co-workers fall out over disrespectful behavior or language, what they do respect in their colleagues isn’t completely obscured. It’s just being overridden by strong negative feelings. Once the ‘what happened,’ the intentions, the impacts and perceptions have been uncovered and explored through coaching and rational discussion, the attributes that they do respect in one another become easier to see. Then, after genuine apologies have been made, the process builds on these respected attributes to create a ‘behavioral bridge’ to a functional relationship going forward.”

In other words, it’s just about being human – not only in one’s personal endeavors, but in their professional conduct as well.

“…we also want to make it clear that CfR is a voluntary process; participants must willingly choose to engage in it,” Ward states. “No one should be forced, coerced, or mandated to participate, or threatened if they don’t, because if they are, it will fail and possibly make things worse for everyone… It’s important that you know that facilitating this process isn’t a walk in the park; and it’s not something anyone can do.


CfR takes time, and you’ll need to have some facilitation and coaching experience and acumen. It also takes emotional intelligence, patience, the willingness and authority to shut the process down, and the self-management skills to stay present, calm, and focused while the people you’re coaching are in denial or emotional, resistant, manipulative, or downright ornery.”

Garth Thomas