Thursday, April 4, 2019

Civility in the Workplace Part 1

Failing to smile at co-workers or even just a tendency to smirk at a client’s unusual request may not seem like much at first glance.  However, these seemingly innocuous behaviors can be costly in the long run.  It’s important to be appraised of the nature of civility, its behavioral indicators, and why its practice is imperative within an organization.

What is Uncivil Behavior?

Civility represents the social norms and rules that must be followed in order to positively and productively relate with others.  When people hear the word “civility,” words that come to mind include respect, courtesy, tolerance, consideration, and a rational approach to conflicts.  Behaviors that threaten positive and productive relations with other people, therefore, constitute uncivil behaviors.

You can be uncivil without meaning to be.  For example, you may simply assume that what’s acceptable in one social context (say, at your old workplace or at your home) is acceptable across all contexts.  You can also be uncivil intentionally, e.g., you verbally attack a co-worker whose behavior annoys you.

Until next time...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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