Incivility is a bug
Marsh Mackey

I wasn’t sure what to write about this month, nothing really jumped out at me however, I have, as many of us have, experienced incivility recently.

I’m a big believer in civility and respect and believe that no matter what your title, being respectful is something that lifts everyone.

We recently had a case of incivility with a client, they were pretty rude and what struck me is how ‘angry’ the person seemed.  I actually felt sorry for them, can you imagine carrying that around all day? Exhausting.

As I’ve dealt with similar people in the past, it just doesn’t get under my skin anymore; my team however, who are younger and haven’t experienced much incivility, felt shaky and nervous during, and after, speaking with this person.  We discussed it as a team and felt, we don’t need that kind of business, so we simply decided to not work with them.

While I believe, it’s a great learning experience, using the right tools/skills, dealing with rude people, can arm you for anything that comes your way, however, one of my responsibilities to my team is to ensure they have a positive work life, as much as possible.  So, we take what we want from the experience, learn from it and move on. It was good content for one of our training sessions.

We’ve all experienced it when someone is rude, the affect can sit with you and reframe your own mood, in-turn perhaps inadvertently being rude to others, it’s a bug that spreads.

We don’t have to look too far; events in Ballymun, and also at a recent hearing of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, highlights how incivility can infect us.

So how do we combat it: well, Christine Porath has some really interesting TedTalks, together with Dr Chris Turner, which I’d recommend: studies show that by introducing small things; smiling & listening, attribute to not just better working environments but better production of work so it pays to be civil.

If we can apply these small things to our work lives, then civility will spread wider than the nasty incivility bug!


Thanks for reading!
Marsh Mackey


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