Be Nice at Work

Christine Porath has an interesting article in the New York Times about workplace rudeness. She thinks that incivility at work contributed to her father’s death. She points to studies that show that incivility causes workplace errors and undermines creativity.

Examples of workplace rudeness include: • Interrupts people, • Is judgmental of those who are different, • Pays little attention to or shows little interest in others’ opinions, • Takes the best and leaves the worst tasks for others, • Fails to pass along necessary information, • Neglects saying please or thank you, • Talks down to people, • Takes too much credit for things, • Swears, • Puts others down.

When Steve left academia and moved to the corporate world, he thought that there was less rudeness in the corporate world, because social behavior had more rules and interactions with associates were more public. There wasn’t the corporate equivalent of “this is the stupidest thing I ever read” comments at an academic conference. After a while, Steve found that there was rudeness in the corporate world, too. It was just subtler.

And then there are internet comments. (Not here, of course.) This year, I had to block a few people on Twitter, because my articles enraged them so much that they felt it was necessary to send me emojis of faces with tongues sticking out. Niceness is such a far away goal for the online writer. I would settle for happy emojis.

2 thoughts on “Be Nice at Work

  1. Takes the best and leaves the worst tasks for others

    I think my junior colleges quit because none of us got raises, but possibly it was because I left them the more dull work. In my defense, I don’t understand why to be senior otherwise.


  2. Because of a forthcoming retirement (of not me), I’m reminded that I’ve been nine years in my current job. That’s close to how long I’ve been reading here. Anyway, I mostly feel old. Also a bit concerned as everyone but me is now at a different university or a different department. They haven’t moved me because of differences of opinion about what I should be paid. Not that either department shares my opinion on that completely.


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