Using good manners in the workplace establishes an environment of politeness and civility. Good manners include things such as, saying thank you, excuse me, I am sorry, greetings, and etc. Using appropriate behaviors produces an environment of courteousness and workers good conduct becomes the expectation for everyone.
Good manners also create effective work relationships. It matters that we say thank you to someone after something they have done something for us. It shows them appreciation for their work and it validates them as a worker. This builds mutual respect and collegiality.
I was in a difficult meeting once where important decisions needed to be made and it was clear there was tension between participants. The leader was highly skilled in the use of manners and politeness. The leader thanked people for their contributions yet moved the meeting a long so that decision-making occurred. The leader did not allow anyone to dominate. When the person talking was taking too long, the leader thanked the person for their contribution but also nicely moved the meeting along. The leader showed respect for the person but also all the other attendees as well. It ended up being the best meeting I ever attended. I attribute this to the leader’s skill development in civility.
Using good manners seems like a basic skill that every worker has and that is being practiced in the workplace today. However, in environments where persistent workplace aggression is festering or occurring, good manners are the first to go. It is, therefore, important that leaders and workers validate politeness and reward consideration in the workplace. At the same time, they need to discourage and deter bad behavior and manners. Using good manners does not guarantee that aggression will not happen, but it does create the expectation of civility. Using good manners and being civil does in fact encourage a strong work culture that can withstand and prevent persistent workplace aggression.
If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent workplace aggression, please contact me at email@example.com or (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at jankircher.com. Help is out there.