When Co-Workers Are Nasty To Each Other

6 Nov

From the August 27 Wall Street Journal:

Keeping the Peace

Tips for making your office environment more civil:

  • Address performance or other issues in private.
  • Don’t criticize people behind their backs. Never say or write anything you wouldn’t be proud to sign.
  • In the presence of co-workers practice the 10/5 rule: Within 10 feet, acknowledge the person, and within five feet say hello.
  • Don’t take an employee’s contributions for granted; make it a point to thank them.
  • Be careful taking too much credit for collaborative work; share recognition for work well done.
  • Never cut off or finish someone’s sentences (even to make a point or decision); instead be patient and listen fully before jumping in.
  • Instead of pointing the finger when you’ve contributed to a mistake, take responsibility-especially if you’re the leader.
  • When dealing with conflict, performance issues, or other emotionally-laden matters, use face-to-face communication in lieu of email.
  • When someone is talking to you, pay attention and listen fully; don’t half tune in or fidget with your gadget.
  • Resist the temptation to send unprofessional emails. If it isn’t work-appropriate, don’t say it or send it all.

–Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, studies the impact of incivility

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