In 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:
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.