Being civil at work is crucial in today’s workplace because relationships can either help or hurt your personal brand (aka reputation). While most people try and want to have positive, professional relationships, it can be a challenge if you feel undervalued or overlooked. Nonetheless, being civil is to your benefit in the long run and the following are three reasons why:
1. You will have to work with others! Whether you are in a live or virtual office and need minimal supervision, chances are that you will not work alone. Your innate talents seldom make you indispensable in an organization. You will need to effectively work and rely on suppliers to create a product that will impress your team, executives and customers. While trust is a requirement when working on a team, it is important to keep in mind we all need to maintain our self-esteem. So, avoid underestimating your need to be held in positive regard by those with whom you work. Learning how to play nice will help you go further in your career or at the very least, move towards success without encountering sabotage and other obstacles. In short, your survival in the modern world, a world where everyone is linked together requires you to be civil.
2. You’ll enjoy a positive working environment and personal growth. Civility helps create a positive working environment. Motivation theories support that happy and relaxed workers are productive workers – and willing to go the extra mile for their company. On the flipside, disrespect and inconsideration on a jobsite is highly stressful, and can contribute to workers’ low morale. Indeed absenteeism and low employee retention is common in companies where incivility is the norm. You can also expect that time better spent finding workable solutions to problems gets wasted in name-calling, ‘scapegoating’ and face-saving.
Civility can also help people grow as individuals. Civility teaches emotional intelligence – a person learns to control anger and frustration until an appropriate time comes to express them, he or she understands that there may be more important things at stake than a petty argument during a boardroom meeting; he or she reaches goals set for self and others. Managing uncivil behavior also teaches social skills such as conflict management and negotiation, skills which can be applied across many areas of life.
3. Karma. If anything else, civility is recommended because what goes around comes around; it also makes you look mature. Despite your religious or philosophical beliefs, the golden rule is: Do unto others what you’d like others to do unto you. To quote Richard Boyd, associate professor of government in Georgetown University, “To fail to be civil to someone — to treat them harshly, rudely or condescendingly — is not only to be guilty of bad manners. It also, and more ominously, signals a disdain or contempt for them as moral beings.”
Violence and ill-will against other people, regardless of degree, never brings anything positive to a work environment – or any environment for that matter. We live in a world where inter-dependency is required in order for anything to get accomplished successfully.
Do you have any stories about civility, or lack thereof, you would like to share? Do tell in the comments section below!