• Sara & Colin Taylor

Civility - Part 1

You are walking down the hall at work and pass by a colleague and naturally say, "Hi ____, how are you today?"

They gruffly speed by you without so much as a smile. You are a bit befuddled as you can't think of what you did to set them off. In fact, just the other day you had a great conversation about your upcoming holiday.

Your confusion starts to fester into pure annoyance as you think of what a jerk your colleague is and the fact they weren't civil enough to extend you a simple hello. This has set your day off on the wrong foot.

What do you think happens next?

A. You go meditate for 10 minutes in your office to reach a place of equanimity. B. You go slash your colleague's tires in the parking lot. C. You unconsciously spread some of the incivility you felt onto others that day.

Yes, 'A' would be ideal and possible, but unfortunately, 'C' is most likely. Let's hope 'B' is out of the question!

In medicine, we all know how quickly many infectious diseases spread. If we think of incivility in the same vein, it's no wonder that workplace culture/morale can be so impacted by such 'ambiguous forms of bullying'.

Next week, we will take a look at some of the antidotes to workplace incivility.


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