3 ways to bring more civility to the office

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.