et to consider the impact that their words or actions will have on other people. In an attempt to be efficient and productive we take a few liberties with our manners at work. Perhaps, at one time, we apologetically said, "I'm sorry, we have to stop the discussion and move onto the next point." But now we blurt out, "Next!" or "Let's get on with it, people!" While the intention may be the same, the degree of bluntness, or even rudeness, used nowadays is unacceptable – at work or anywhere. If good people are bruised by someone else's rudeness once too often, you risk losing them. How long is it going to take to find an equally good replacement, and bring them "up to speed"? How much is this going to cost? And what opportunities will you have lost in the meantime? When disrespectful conduct starts surfacing throughout a company, or when it's used by executives or other key people, it can become part of the organization's culture. Poor manners can be quickly absorbed into cultural norms, especially when no one stands up and demands courteous and polite behavior. So what can you do if rudeness is endemic within the culture of your organization? •In conjunction with your colleagues, focus on the problem behaviors and create a list of the behaviors that are expected within your team. Be specific so that people really understand what constitutes good manners. Depending on where the problems lie, you may want to include these items: •Email and Internet expectations.
•Where people eat.
•What people wear.
•Meeting routines and etiquette.
•Physical state of individual workstations.
•Working in close quarters.
•Communication style – tone, manner, language.
•Use of supplies and equipment – common and co-workers' own. •Telephone manners.
•Demonstrate all the appropriate behaviors in your own actions, whatever your place in the corporate hierarchy. Acting as a role model is one of the most effective...