kindness quote aesopIn November, people observe World Kindness Day, which was started in 1998 by an international coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that wanted to shine a spotlight on the positive power of being kind. There are many corners of the world right now that are just plain mean and nasty. Incivility has always been part of the human condition. But with social media, we can see everyone’s Mean and Nasty, 24/7, brought right into our homes and workplaces, without any filters. It’s exhausting and it affects our mental health.

Here are what the numbers tell us about Mean and Nasty in the workplace:

  • 40% of workers are afraid to be civil at work because they fear others will take advantage of them
  • Colleagues who observe incivility are three times less likely to be helpful to others in the future and 50% less likely to share resources
  • Incivility is often modeled by leaders and is the reason that employees cite for their own rude behavior

This research comes to us from Christine Porath, an associate professor of management at Georgetown University and the author of Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace. Porath has studied incivility for over two decades and has performed numerous experiments to suss out why civility is important in our workplace interactions.

In honor of World Kindness day, here are some of my favorite blog posts and resources:

Manners Matter at Work

15 Ways to Be Nice at Work

Leadership and Positive Social Contagion

The Science of Kindness from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Spread a little kindness at work today. It takes so little effort, and costs nothing.

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Leadership and the Civil Workplace: It Starts with You

November 21, 2017

Did you know that nearly half of the people in your organization are afraid to be civil to one another? According to Georgetown University researcher Christine Porath, 40% of employees say they hesitate to show civility at work because they fear people will take advantage of them. Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School […]

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3 Tips for More Productivity with Less Stress

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Don’t Overload Your Team Ecosystem With Star Players

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You want a team loaded with star players, right? What leader wouldn’t want a team filled with high-performing folks?  Isn’t a team stacked with rocks stars is a good thing? It depends. Research into team performance reveals a surprising element: you can have too much of a good thing. Consider the study reported in Gartner’s […]

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6 Reasons You Might Be Setting a Poor Example for Your Team

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Young kids speak the truth, as anyone who’s ever been called out by a preschooler can tell you. I’ll never forget the time my three-year-old son looked at me with his innocent, big brown eyes and said, “Mama, you told me that’s a bad word. How come you just said it?” Nothing shines the light […]

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When Leaders Hold on Too Tightly Employee Engagement Suffers

July 13, 2017

Are we looking at employee retention the wrong way? HR professionals and leaders invest significant time and effort on employee retention. There’s an interesting paradox to this organizational form of “holding on” to employees: the more we try to retain talent, the more we squeeze the engagement right out of the very individuals we want […]

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