Word-Of-the-Week #708: Behavior

March 1, 2018 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #708: Behavior 

Behaviorhow you act or conduct yourself, especially toward others. 

How kind and respectful are you of others’ feelings? Do you have an urge to tell others how they should behave? Would you agree that our society could use more respect for common sense and common decency in the treatment of others?

This week features the second half of the UT article by Phil Blair, “Having good manners always matters – in and out of the office.” He writes, “Simply stated, having good manners is essential, a “must-have” for the workplace – any place, really. 

What follows is a sampling of “do’s” and “don’ts” that you should and shouldn’t do. Believe me, there are plenty more. 

6) Don’t spread gossip: Idle or otherwise, true or not, spreading gossip can be toxic. By its very nature, gossip is meant to be hurtful, so it’s best left unspoken, especially at work. You wouldn’t want anyone to talk about you behind your back, would you? 

7) Do resist the urge to tell others how to behave: Doesn’t matter if you’re right and they’re wrong. Nobody likes to be told how to live their lives. Besides, what gives you the right to tell others? Nothing, unless you’re asked first. Then be kind and respectful of others’ feelings. 

8) Don’t be a whiner: Even if you have plenty to whine about. No one wants to hear your complaints, unless you voice them in a responsible way, usually through the HR department. If you have valid complaints, go through proper channels. 

9) Do keep your work area as uncluttered as possible: Perhaps you recall the famous quote of Laurence J. Peter, guru of the “Peter Principle,” who supposedly said: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” His desk must’ve been a total mess. Who’d want to share an office with him? 

10) Don’t mindlessly check your smart phone when someone is speaking to you or when you should be paying attention: That’s one of my pet peeves and we’re all guilty. I’ve done it myself. Sad to say, constantly checking and re-checking our emails, texts and phone messages during business meetings and casual conversations is one of those bad manners that seems unlikely to change. 

  • On a more serious note, our national workplace culture lately has been shaken by bad behavior – and its consequences — that goes way beyond simply bad manners. Let’s hope a healthier respect for common sense and common decency in the treatment of others begins to take shape. 

With good manners leading the way.”

This week’s focus is on your behavior. What kind of an example are you setting? Are you guilty of mindlessly checking your smart phone when someone is speaking to you or when you should be paying attention? Are you the one leading the way with good manners? 

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WOW Word-Of-theWeek #269: Civility

September 29, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Civility – polite or courteous behavior.

Did you happen to see the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday? How about President Obama’s health care address last week?  Or Serena William’s tirade at the U.S. Open?

Apparently we are experiencing a real shortage in civility! And experts say it is getting worse.
Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University who studies trends in human behavior says, “The Internet, cable talk shows, reality TV and even the recession have reduced our collective inhibitions, ripping at the very fabric of civil discourse. There is very little doubt that we are expressing ourselves in much nastier ways.”

Clearly Uncivilized Sea Lions

Clearly Uncivilized Sea Lions

San Diego Union Tribune staff writer Jennifer Davies writes, “Outlandish cable TV hosts and reality-show stars prove that bad behavior is rewarded with increased notoriety and exposure. Simon Cowell of the top-rated ‘American Idol’ has elevated rudeness to an art form – a lucrative one at that.”

“We have created the age of extremism. Average doesn’t get attention,” says Farley. Fortunately for us there has been an overwhelming negative reaction to all this bad behavior. What do you think? Are Americans getting ruder?

This week focus on civility.  How can you be more polite and courteous? What examples are you setting for your staff and/or children? Can you be exhibit civility even if others around you are not?

Reader Responses

“Your sense of timing with this WOW! was right on!  Congrats! “– PC

“yes, it was a bad week for civility.  this whole generations seems to be self absorbed.
God, …I sound like an old ….” — Sandra

“Congratulations on your 5th anniversary!  I’ve enjoyed your Word-Of-the-Week and I occasionally pass them on to others.  You do good work.  I especially liked last week on civility.  Boy, are we ever in danger of losing it in this country. Thank goodness people like you are talking about it and in turn making people reflect on just how civil we are to one another.  Thank you for encouraging us to be thoughtful, introspective and reflective by sending out Word-Of-The-Week.”

“I have a feeling that our children are the best examples for us as to how to behave. Occasionally, our seven-year-old will tell me or my wife, “That was rude!” And you know, she is right. The biggest part of the problem in society is that people refuse to listen to one another. And the reason is that many of those on the extreme – whether right or left – believe that they are right no matter what the other person thinks or says. So how can we have a civilized discussion. I recall a time when the seniority system in the U.S. Congress was in place. The congressmen would have a spirited depate on the House or Senate floor and go out for drinks afterward. Still competitors but still friends outside of work. The Republican Revolution of 1994 ended the seniority system and comity at the same time. It seemed that grabbing power and holding onto it at all costs became the norm. This then resulted in what became known as the “politics of personal destruction.” It was not long after that we saw the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in the House of Representatives, but his acquittal in the U.S. Senate. We still see the “Gotcha” politics in Washington today, but it is now becoming more marginalized to the fringes of both parties. Unfortunately, it is those who are the loudest who are seeming to get the most attention, whether their points of view are really valid or hold any water with the majority of Americans. And in the media (you mentioned Simon Cowell, who is a good example) it is the loudest who get the most attention because it means more people will turn on their televisions to see a disaster. But are we better off for it? Once people have driven past the accident, they are waiting for the next to occur. It is a sad commentary on our society today, but civility is lacking. I mentioned in past posts that there are a lot of young people who just don’t say thank you or acknowledge good deeds done for them. I have seen it in my own extended family. People just don’t say thank you. It seems, unfortunately, that it is just assumed or taken for granted. I know that I try to set an example, not only for my family, but for the people I work with in my day to day relationships. If people see how well it works for me, maybe they will take the hint. But it seems more and more, they are not. Great word, Susan. Take care. “Warrior” Joe Moran.”