By Dawn Stanyon, AICI FLC, Professional Image Consultant
65 percent of Americans believe incivility is a major problem, according to a recent KRC Research National Civility Survey. The workplace is no exception. With 12% of employees actually leaving jobs because of incivility, companies can’t afford not to invest in professional development. Here are the top five civility actions every employee should put forward:
1. Become aware of communication strengths and limitations and then use that knowledge to build better interactions. Most incivility occurs due to differences in communication and learning styles. Everyone can become aware of their communication strengths and limitations through trainings, evaluations such as Disc Personality Survey and Myers-Briggs and coaching. Ongoing practice and a willingness to enhance strengths and work on limitations will increase positive outcomes for building relationships.
2. Use technology wisely. No one is more important than the person with whom you are speaking. Just because it rings, you don’t have to answer it. Just because it alerts you that you have a message, you don’t have to read it immediately. Be willing to turn it off so you aren’t tempted to be distracted by it.
3. Be on time. When you show up late you are communicating that what you were doing is more important. We’re all busy and we all have too much to do. When we consistently turn up late people feel disrespected. Some tips for managing your time: a) be proactive – when a conversation or meeting starts, let them know that you have to be at another meeting at X time; b) be considerate – if you’re late, apologize and let them know if you are able to stay a little longer on the other end to make up for the lost time; c) be thoughtful when planning your schedule – build in time between meetings whenever you can.
4. Take responsibility for mistakes, apologize and offer solutions. This one’s easy. Just like your momma probably taught you to say “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome,” she also taught you to say, “I’m sorry.” There is strength in admitting mistakes and even more strength in offering solutions.
5. Be IN the moment. Whether you’re in a meeting, a one-on-one conversation or a webinar, show consideration and respect to whoever is speaking and other participants. You have to give it if you want to get it.
For more, visit Dawn’s blog, Professionality.