Monday, 23 April 2012


As organizations have flattened and gone more “casual/informal” with people from all walks of life and disciplines working together under one roof, there are fewer norms as to what constitutes proper business behavior. Research has shown that most acts of workplace violence originate with uncivil behavior.

A modern work place is a hive of activity with employees often working under a great deal of pressure. Therefore it’s hardly surprising that tempers can often get frayed yet, whilst that might be understandable in certain instances, it should never be thought of as acceptable behavior. For instance: Gossiping/ Nastiness to your colleagues, subordinates or managers/ rude disposition or behavior/ Theft of other people’s food /Reading of colleagues emails/ Engaging in nasty emails, phone calls, and  or shouting matches are never acceptable and can cause you to lose respect, suffer serious stress or cause others around you unnecessary stress and tension and ultimately, will cost you your job.


If people are not civil to each other in the workplace, over time, not only will this have a detrimental effect on performance, it may also over time corrupt the culture & relationships within the office causing unnecessary tension, friction, anger, and resentment.

The following are ten tips to assist you in accomplishing this objective:
·      Before acting, consider the impact of your words and actions on others.
·       Create an inclusive work environment.  Only by recognizing and respecting individual differences and qualities can you fully realize the potential you find around you.
·      Self-monitor the respect that you display in all areas of your communications, including verbal, body language, and listening.
·       Understand your triggers or “hot buttons.”  Knowing what makes you angry and frustrated enables you to manage your reactions and respond in a more appropriate manner.
·     Take responsibility for your actions and practice self-restraint and anger management skills in responding to potential conflicts.
·         Adopt a positive and solution-driven approach in resolving conflicts.
·        Rely on facts rather than assumptions.  Gather relevant facts, especially before acting on  assumptions that can damage relationships.
·        Include others in your focus by considering their needs and avoiding the perception that you view yourself as the “center of the universe.”
·       View today’s difficult situations from a broader (big picture) and more realistic perspective by considering what they mean in the overall scheme of things.
·         Each one influence one” by becoming a bridge builder and role model for civility and respect. Act in a manner whereby you respect yourself, demonstrate respect for others, and take advantage of every opportunity to be proactive in promoting civility and respect in your workplace.

There can be numerous reasons connected to a lack of civility in the workplace. Long hours, unmanageable deadlines, added responsibilities placed upon us and longer and more stressful commutes to and from work are just some of the reasons we can get uptight at work. However, there never is nor will there ever be any excuse great enough to excuse prolonged uncivilized behavior in the office. Uncivilized behavior should always be checked by all of us. We spend most of our waking hours in the office and these hours should be as pleasant as possible. Remember the golden rule: “if you have nothing to say, DON’T say anything at all…!” Respect people’s boundaries at work; discuss only work related matters if you have not established clear guidelines for friendships at work, and even between colleagues themselves, simply saying ‘Thank You’ or “I really appreciate you doing that for me” can go a long way to easing tensions at work.

Have a great week! 

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