Incivility—being disrespectful, unprofessional or just plain rude—is an epidemic in many workplaces today, Joyce E.A. Russell writes for The Washington Post. And it’s a problem for businesses, customers and employees.
Employees are less productive when they use up their emotional energy on interpersonal drama. Customers get a poor impression of the business and make more complaints. And those problems take a hit on the business.
You can’t force your co-workers to change, but if you suspect you aren’t being as civil as you could be, you can work on your behavior. As you demonstrate civility, you will make a difference in your office and set an example others just may start to follow.
- Learn your triggers. Figure out what makes you irritable and prone to incivility. Then work on controlling those impulses or learn when you need to take a break from a conversation.
- Be punctual. Treat your co-workers as though their time is as valuable as yours—because it is. If you’re late to finish a project or arrive to a meeting, be sure to apologize.
- Take responsibility for your actions. No one is perfect. When you make a mistake admit you were wrong, apologize and do what you can to make amends.
— Adapted from “Cultivating civility in the workplace,” Joyce E.A. Russell, The Washington Post.