Civility at Work and at Home

Civility at WorkYou can’t argue that civility at work—consistent, equitable, and professional behavior toward people improves business performance and works to progress humanity.
 
Civility at work means everyday behavior aligns with organizational values and adds to and builds upon all that is good, effective and productive. It supports positive business outcomes; progress, productivity, and increased profit.
 
We all know this. Civility at work is represented by the plaque on the wall. Mission statements, guiding principles, and value statements are visible to the eye but less often felt. This lack creates dissonance, “forces of decline.”
 
I hear it all the time. The greatest challenge for businesses today is employee retention. Every leader I have worked with shares this same “biggest problem.” And yet they miss the connection of consistent, equitable and professional conduct and business performance. Civility is often a blind spot. 

A Civility at Work Case Study

A college student friend of our family quit a summer job after one day. I asked about it, and Steve said he was yelled at and belittled. He tried to find redeeming points but could only see negativity and chaos, so he quit. Earlier, I wrote about my son, quitting his job for similar chaotic-behavior reasons.
 
Uncivil behavior may start as rude and unprofessional, but the danger lies in escalation. It becomes unwelcoming then abusive and bullying and then illegal. It builds in an unproductive direction, and 1 to 3% end up in court, talk about unproductive?  
 
Most of us don’t see the outcome of the court; our experience is:

  • Low morale
  • Forces of decline
  • Chaos
  • Turnover
  • Low trust 

These are universal and pervasive problems at work and in all of life. They hinder progress and productivity. Isn’t it time we improve? We can do better. We should do better. We must do better!

Here’s how to begin:

  • Life isn’t a sitcom. Snarky comebacks work well for George Lopez, but they create dissonance, tension, and conflict. They don’t add to anything. They create a substantial drag on progress, productivity, and success (profit).
  • Guard your words. Increase your self-management discipline. Don’t add to the negativity. Be the difference we all want to see.
  • Increase self-awareness. Invest to understand how emotions (feelings) affect your mood, your words, actions, and decisions. Intentionally pause. Slow things down and observe. Your shift from actor to an observer will reveal what is going on at a deeper level. 

 
Life is the ultimate creative act. Create the conditions you want to live (and work) in rather than react like a puppet to what is dished out by the mediocre masses.  

 

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© Brian Braudis 2019, All rights reserved

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