Civility is defined as behaviors that show respect toward another person, makes them feel appreciated, contributes to mutual respect, effective communication and team collaboration.

Ways to show civility include courtesy, politeness, and a general awareness of the rights, wishes, concern and feelings of others.

Civility demands that one speaks in ways that are respectful, responsible, mild and decent and avoid that which is offensive, rude, degrading and threatening.

Uncivil behavior includes;

  • Failure to acknowledge another person’s presence
  • Using abusive languages
  • Gossiping
  • Bullying and threatening co-workers
  • Destroying individuals and company efforts
  • Discriminating against a particular individual or group
  • Disregard to co-workers needs

The costs of incivility are important and it includes

  • Decreased creativity
  • Decreased morale
  • Client hatred


  • Low employee morale
    • If employees are not happy with their jobs or feel that their work is going unappreciated, they are more likely to show signs of stress and hatred towards others
  • Workplace stress
    • Stress in the workplace is another large contributor to incivility.
    • looming deadlines, project failures, long work days or long stretches without time off can wear on an employee and as a result, they may display rude behavior both to their fellow workers as well as customers.
  • Bad employee
    • There are people who are simply rude. They may not have learned coping skills as young adults, and they may have issues with getting along with others


  • Examine your own behavior and how you contribute to civility or incivility
  • Don’t listen to or tolerate rumors and gossip
  • Encourage employee not to jump to conclusions about the intent or motives of other employee
  • Stop the blame game and encourage a solution orientation to problems
  • Encourage acts of kindness among employee
  • Go out of your way to say thank you and promote this behavior in employees
  • Look for common ground in dealing with conflict
  • Encourage the practice of forgiveness

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