Try Civility

A recent article by Christine Porath in the New York Times discussed civility in the workplace. That’s right…being nice to one another.

Her article pointed out that the bad behaviors we share with each other and from managers contribute to everything from increased health problems to decreased workplace productivity to loss of customers (think about how much tip you leave to a snarly waitperson in a restaurant).

Managers often think that they have to be hard nosed and rude to get employees to do what needs to be done—the old control and command model—but her research and stories, particularly around how millennials expect to be managed support the ideas that rudeness is out and regard for other is in.

Some easy ways to demonstrate more civility with your colleagues and presumably friends and family include:

  • Full engagement listening where you look and attend to the person with whom you are talking.
  • Acknowledging successes and victories.
  • Smiling at people and striking up simple conversations that convey genuine interest.
  • Put down technology and focus on the work at hand.

At the Ochsner Health System in Louisiana employees are encouraged to practice the “10/5 way” where they make eye contact and smile at folks within 10 feet of them and say hello if within 5 feet. Results indicate improved patient satisfaction.

Treating people nicely is an excellent resilience strategy for mitigating your own and other’s stress. It helps cut off negative events before they even happen and it gets everyone working together in a positive manner.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015


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