Magazine article Work & Family Life

Is Politeness a 'Lost Art' at the Workplace?

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Is Politeness a 'Lost Art' at the Workplace?

Article excerpt

Q I see very rude behavior at my company-on the phone, at meetings, in bathrooms, lunchrooms, parking lots and, now, in all those public conversations on mobile phones. Have people forgotten how to be polite? Or maybe they never learned.

-SC, Atlanta

A You're not alone with your concern. The New York Times ran an article recently that called politeness a "lost art in the office." It quoted a study on workplace incivility at the University of Michigan, which found that two out of three workers interviewed said they had experienced mistreatment. Companies are noticing the bad manners as well and some are running "interpersonal skills" seminars to curb the trend.

One explanation for what's going on is that, as organizations have become more casual, many employees just don't know what constitutes proper business behavior. And because we spend so much time at work, this becomes an important issue. …

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