Why incivility at work is a bigger problem than you suspect
In an accessible and informative style, Pearson and Porath examine the toll that bad behavior can have on otherwise well-functioning companies. And they reveal strategies that successful organizations are using to stop incivility before it takes hold.
Whether it's a standoffish coworker or an arrogant boss, incivility at the office doesn't just affect the moods of a few employees; it hurts an entire company.
Consider these statistics: 12 percent of all employees say they've left jobs because they were treated badly. Fortune 1000 executives spend roughly seven weeks per year resolving employee conflicts. And an astonishing 95 percent of Americans say they've experienced rudeness at work.
Christine Pearson and Christine Porath examine the devastating toll that bad behavior can have on otherwise well-functioning companies. Combining their own scientific research with stories from fields as diverse as criminology, education, and psychology, they show how to spot the roots of incivility, rip them out, and create a culture of respect. They urge managers to stop making excuses, set a zero-tolerance policy, and lead by example.
Bestsellers like The No Asshole Rule and The Power of Nice have shown the hunger for more civility at work; now The Cost of Bad Behavior shows exactly what to do about it.
Do you exhibit Bad Behavior?
By Lori Bartels - October 29, 2009
When I first picked up The Cost of Bad Behavior I thought thank goodness I have never worked in an environment in which incivility was tolerated or accepted. As I read further I quickly realized that many of the environments in which I have worked have been full of incivility.
Incivility is easy to recognize when we see it played out in the political arena - remember the response after the joint session of congress when Senator Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted to President Obama "You lie!"? In his apology Wilson stated "...I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility..."
We see bad behavior play out in other public domains - how about the bad behavior of Kanye West during the 2009 MTV awards when he jumped on stage during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech and declared that Beyonce should have received the award? Unfortunately his apology didn't seem to acknowledge his own lack of civility.
Clear and compelling--this book sets forth the costs that we all pay for tolerating bad behavior where we work. Using their exhaustive research and a wealth of real-life stories, Pearson and Porath define what workplace incivility is, how subtle it can be, and how costly it is to the organization, to the people involved, and even to bystanders. The authors make it very clear that the price tag is large and quantifiable. In their final chapters, they explore ways of recognizing and responding to the signs of incivility, but they don't pretend that the fix is easy. They offer no pat answers.
Pearson and Porath draw many of their examples from the corporate world, but this is not just a problem in the private sector. I have worked for nearly 30 years in school systems large and small and can attest to the fact that incivility looms large in the public sector too. This book should be on the desk of all education leaders, as well as their business counterparts... read more
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