Civility in the Workplace
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Civility in the Workplace

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What is Workplace Incivility?. Behaviors with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect. Uncivil behaviors are characteristically rude and discourteous, displaying a lack of regard for others. Why should you care about civility?. The Incivility Continuum.
Civility in the Workplace

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1. Civility in the Workplace Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD University Ombudsperson

3. Why should you care about civility?

4. The Incivility Continuum

5. Why Choose to be Civil? One person can have a positive impact on the work environment Improved Morale Improved Productivity Improved Teamwork Being nice feels good 83% of workers report that it is ?very important? to work in a civil environment (Baltimore Workplace Study, 2003)

6. The Incivility Spiral (adapted from Andersson & Pearson, 1999)

7. Contributors to Incivility Long hours / overwork ?Hot? temperament Workplace stress Inflexibility Passive aggression Hurt feelings Intolerance of individual differences Being in a protected position or position of authority

8. The Costs of Incivility Lost work time and productivity Lost employees / high turnover Decrease in feelings of teamwork Work avoidance Lowered job motivation Health costs due to stress Legal costs due to litigation Incivility to customers / clients

9. Human Needs Affecting Interpersonal Interactions Power Approval Inclusion Justice Identity

10. Communicating Civility

11. Communicating Civility (cont.)

12. Watch Your Language, Young Lady!

13. Words that Promote Conflict ?You must?? ?You lied to me? ?This is so typical of you?? ?You always / you never? ?The problem is?? ?If you don?t do this, then?? ?You?ll never change? ?You?re being hysterical?

15. Questions to Take You Below the Surface Can you tell me what bothered you about what I did? What is the most important thing to you in solving this problem? Would you be willing to start again right now and do it differently? What would it take for you to let go of this conflict and feel that the issue has been completely resolved?

16. The Art of Active Listening Listen to your co-workers with the same basic courtesies you extend to customers No interrupting Reflect back understanding of views Ask clarifying questions Really listen, don?t prepare your rebuttal until you have HEARD the other person Use of ?I? statements

17. Clearing the A-I-R

18. Civility in Emails Don?t ignore emails Is your point better communicated in person? Have a trusted colleague review before sending Keep emails to the point Don?t forget pleasantries Be aware of tone

19. Civil Behavior Be on time for meetings Do not do unrelated work in meetings Watch your body language Apologize when you are in the wrong Respect co-worker?s ?stuff? (e.g., food in the refrigerator) Positive reinforcement

20. Responding to Incivility Have healthy boundaries Avoid escalation Stay away from the low road Vent your frustration

21. Dealing with Bullies Approach bully, then next line supervisor if necessary Document and seek assistance from leadership early Leaders must take bullying seriously and intervene

22. A Culture of Civility

23. The Caveats

24. Final Thoughts

25. Helpful References Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct (2002) by P.M. Forni Conflict Resolution (2001) by Daniel Dana People Styles at Work (1996) by Robert Bolton & Dorothy Grover Bolton Resolving Conflicts at Work (2005) by Kenneth Cloke & Joan Goldsmith Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace (2002) by Giovinella Gonthier Workplace Wars and How to End Them (1994) by Kenneth Kaye


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