Civility Affects Workplace Performance

When I went to my first college reunion last year and peered in the window of the Residence Life office, a poster caught my eye.  As a business etiquette speaker, I loved seeing the message of civility hanging prominently.  On and off during the year, I thought I’d love to get a copy of that poster.

This year when I was invited to a Residence Life reunion as part of Homecoming, I took the opportunity to ask about the poster.  Many thanks to Megan Julius for researching it and sending it to me with permission to share.

This inspired me to share about a new book published this year, Mastering Civility by management professor Christine Porath. She makes a case quoting research studies that the workplace would be more effective with more civility rather than the tough and aggressive corporate culture our society often supports.

Multiple research studies demonstrate how rudeness and bullying have a negative impact on performance. After being belittled as a group, participants in one experiment had 39% fewer creative ideas in brainstorming and did 33% worse on an annagram-type puzzle. Another experiment showed that even observing incivility decreased performance on two tests, 20% and 30%, compared to a control group.

An excellent summary of the book and great links to research is in the article How to Reduce Rudeness in the Workplace at Greater Good Magazine.

I hope the art and research inspire YOU.  Please pass them on.  Goodness knows we need civility more than ever!  Thank you Duquesne for getting the word out. Makes me proud!