November 2002 - Civility at Work
- 20 Ways to Build a Kinder Workplace
- Resources (links, books,
As we head into the annual holiday season, our
thoughts often turn to more personal and family oriented activities
a time of celebration and gratitude for whatever makes us happy.
Given the state of current events with growing threats and taunts of
war as well as national and international disagreements, we felt it
appropriate to provide some reminders that we can all do a better job of getting
along with each other.
This is a good time to remember that whatever paid
work we do is only a means to give us the resources to enjoy what is really
important. Our workplace should also provide us with many important
friendships and meaningful experiences.
This month's guest author is Tom Terez, who promotes
better work environments.
At Work: 20 Ways to Build a Kinder Workplace
by Tom Terez
It's not always easy being nice. There are deadlines to
meet, conflicts to settle, resources to share, promotions to snag all of
which can pit people against each other. What to do?
Here are 20 practical
ideas. If you believe that workplaces work better when people get along, scan
this list and start living it.
- Say what you mean, and mean what you say. There's
no substitute for authentic communication.
- Be less inclined to give advice
inclined to seek it.
- Resist the urge to jump to conclusions about
people and their motives. Go to the source, get the facts and then decide.
- Identify the biggest redeeming quality of that
person who's always driving you crazy. Keep it in mind the next time the two
of you interact.
- When greeting a colleague, skip the mindless how-ya-doin'.
Ask a question that shows genuine interest.
- Go out of your way to say thank you. Sincere
appreciation is powerful stuff
it's feedback, recognition and respect
all wrapped in one.
- If you're overdue in showing gratitude, make up
for lost time. Contact everyone who's owed thanks from you and let them
know how much you appreciate their help.
- When credit and compliments come your way, spread
them around to all who helped. And if you think you're solely responsible
for that honored achievement, think again.
- Promise only what you can deliver. If what you
deliver falls short, explain why.
- When things go wrong, resist the urge to assign
blame. It's the system that usually fails, so fix the system, not the
- Widen your social circle. If you always go to
lunch with the same group, invite someone new.
- Give a gift for no reason. If you work with
nature lovers, order some plants or flowers. If the group has a chronic
sweet tooth, get a few candy dishes and keep them full.
- When a rumor reaches your ear, let it go out the
- Step down from the treadmill of daily tasks and
have an inefficient chat with a colleague. If it's someone you rarely engage
in conversation, all the better.
- Show interest in someone else's interests. Okay,
maybe you're not dying to hear about Pat's passion for stamp collecting, but
Pat will be thrilled you asked.
- When you take a stand and later realize it's the
wrong stand, be honest enough to say so.
- Involve more people in weighing options and
making decisions. There's incredible brainpower all around you, so why not
put it to work?
- If you tend to send e-mails to colleagues who
are an easy walk away, give the computer a rest. Get up, walk over and have
a no-tech conversation.
- Try going a whole day without making judgments
about people. Good luck
- Don't wait for kindness to come your way. Gandhi
had it right: We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
About the Author
Tom Terez is a speaker, consultant, and author of 22
Keys to Creating a Meaningful Workplace.
His Web site, BetterWorkplaceNow.com, is filled with
tools for building a great work environment. Write to Tom [at] BetterWorkplaceNow.com
or call 614-571-9529.
Copyright © 2002 by Tom Terez, Workplace Solutions Inc.
[Used with permission of the author.]
About our resource
links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs shared in
these articles. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and
respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
- 22 Keys to Creating a Meaningful Workplace, Tom Terez. Adams Media Corporation;
ISBN: 1580626831; May 2002
- Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct,
New York, St. Martin's Press, February 2002 ISBN 0312281188
- Rude Awakenings : Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace, Giovinella
Dearborn Trade Publishing ISBN: 079315197X May 2002
One of the most important things in communication is to hear what is not being said.
- Peter Drucker
Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's
- Don't miss the boat.
- Remember that we are all in the same boat.
- Listen to your inner calls, no matter how strange. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
- Stay fit. Someone may ask you to do something really big.
- Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
- Build your future on high ground.
- For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
- Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
- When you're stressed, float a while.
- Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
- No matter the storm, there's always a rainbow waiting.
Source: sent to us in e-mail. If you know the author,
please let us know so we can give proper credit.
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