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Common Civility: A Key to Unlocking the Excellence in Teams

I'm from the land of Minnesota Nice. We often get teased about our oh-so-polite "Uff da"s, "Yah sure"s, and "You betcha"s, but the truth is that being nice is not only important to maintain common decency in our communities, it's also good for business.

It doesn't take too long to witness an example of rudeness at work and the corresponding negative consequences that affect all who are subjected to it. Whether it's the #$%^ who is constantly protecting his own interests instead of thinking about the organization's objectives or the chucklehead who simply refuses to shut his mouth and listen to the ideas of others (or worse yet, puts down those ideas in a condescending way), the abhorrent behavior of some children-who-never-grew-up can wreak havoc on our productivity, innovation and collaboration.

Check out this illuminating article, How Rudeness Stops People from Working Together, and the research that supports the need for civility training in organizations. (My work in mindful productivity addresses these issues of mindfulness in the workplace.) It turns out that kids aren't the only ones who need to be taught how to listen and use their polite voices. According to the author, "Civility helps teams to function better in large part by helping employees feel safer, happier, and better. In my study of over 20,000 employees, those who felt respected by their leader reported 92% greater focus and prioritization and 55% more engagement.". Those kinds of numbers are worth taking the time to educate employees and their leaders on what it actually looks like to be a member of a TEAM.

If you are in a dysfunctional work environment with bullies or blowhards, invite a conversation with your leadership on how to foster respectful communication. It's not complicated, really. Treat others the way you wish you to be treated. Show respect even in the face of conflict and adversity. Stop interrupting when someone else is speaking. In other words: Be nice.

You betcha.


Theresa Rose is a business motivational speaker, award-winning author and expert on mindful productivity who helps organizations and their teams find more time, get more done, earn more money and have more fun. For more information, visit

#leadership #culture #mindfulness #civility #teambuilding

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