It was Rodney Dangerfield who made us laugh when he repeatedly complained, "I get no respect." It's not so funny when people feel that way about the workplace. Examples abound: ignoring phone messages, disregarding the work of others, condescending tones, or coming to work without so much as a how-do-you-do?
A new study says that rudeness is on the rise in the workplace. Christine Pearson, a management professor at the University of North Carolina business school and co-author of the study, reports the costs of rude behavior. About 12 percent of people who experience rude behavior quit their jobs to avoid the perpetrator. Fifty-two percent reported losing work time worrying about such treatment, and 22 percent of those interviewed deliberately decreased their work effort in response to rudeness by a boss. The study showed that rude people are three times more likely to be in a higher position than their targets. As many as 95 percent of unhappy students and other customers will not tell you they are unhappy-they simply walk away or hang up the phone and remain unhappy.
Disrespectful behavior can go beyond day-to-day interactions. How you treat someone in the face of a dispute makes a big difference not only in the relationship but also in how you are seen by others who hear about the situation. Each unhappy customer or colleague will tell other people about his or her displeasure. Grapevine news travels fast, and perception shapes reality.
Here are some simple approaches for resolving a dispute:
Even in the face of differences, strive to show respect for other people. Try not to:
What can you do about it? Start by assessing your own interactions and the points of service within your own department. Graciously bring offensive comments or actions to offender's attention-most of the time that is all that will be necessary.