I read the blog post titled “The hidden costs of letting workers act like jerks,” which discussed civility in a work place. This post mentions studies performed by researchers Christine Porath and Amir Erez on how uncivil behavior can affect the creativity and performance of individuals. They discovered that people who experience rudeness do not solely retaliate against that single individual, but they have a tendency to attack the company as well. They often do not distinguish between the offender and the company as a whole because they feel that the company is responsible for allowing someone like that to work for them. As one may assume this creates many problems not only for the individuals working, but also for the company. Many people who are involved in an uncivil situation have a tendency to be less efficient and creative with their work resulting in under performance for the company.
When reading this blog post it made me reflect on my past two summers when I interned at Boeing. I was in a real world-working environment, working side-by-side with individuals who had way more experience. However, I was treated as though I was an equal and my manager expected nothing less from me even though I was an intern. On the other hand, I always tried to be courteous by saying ‘hello’ as I walked past an office or never have my cell phone around when talking to a coworker. Even though, I tired to be polite and professional, there were some people that did not do so. There were times where I was sitting in a meeting quietly taking notes when cells phones would ring or people would be texting and emailing as someone was presenting. As the blog post states and I agree, this action is seen as a lack of respect and suggests whatever is being said is not important. I have seen presenters get distracted and lose their train of thought because of such behavior. By the second summer I became closer with many of my coworkers and was shocked when I heard that there was conflicts between certain people. I heard so many stories one included how individuals wrote anonymous letters to this one individual saying she did not deserve her promotion and only received it because she knew the boss, etc. I was taken by surprise to know that even in the working world people are uncivil with one another especially when they are working in such a close community. This woman had trouble focusing on her work knowing things were being said and written about her behind her back. This was a fairly small team that everyone needed to interact and rely on one another for certain tasks. It would be very difficultly to succeed in an uncivil environment. Luckily, all the drama passed within a few weeks, but still those weeks were very difficult.
Common courtesy is something that is very valuable especially in a working environment. Something as simple as a ‘good morning’ or a ‘great job’ can go along way and be very beneficial to all parties involved. Also, technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, but to sacrifice civility creates problems. By doing so, we begin to damage our personal relationships as well as the goals we set and plan to achieve in the work place.