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Politics and Etiquette: Incivility in the Workplace and Congress

Here is a great arti­cle form the Boston Globe which dis­cusses inci­vil­ity in the work­place and Con­gress. What do you think? Is there a problem?

Olympia SnoweMaine Sen­a­tor Olympia Snowe is just the lat­est exam­ple in pol­i­tics and busi­ness to demon­strate the ugly effects of inci­vil­ity. She said last week that she is not going to seek another term in the US Congress.

The three-term Repub­li­can sen­a­tor did not make her deci­sion because she was fac­ing a dif­fi­cult reelec­tion bid. Instead, she blamed the intense and some­times destruc­tive par­ti­san­ship in Wash­ing­ton. That, in a nut­shell, is the prob­lem with inci­vil­ity. At a cer­tain point, peo­ple say, “No more. I don’t have to put up with caus­tic, vit­ri­olic, neg­a­tive behav­ior.’’ And they dis­en­gage, refuse to serve, quit their jobs.

It’s not just in pol­i­tics that inci­vil­ity causes a prob­lem. In busi­ness, it is costly to replace a worker. There’s down­time between when a per­son leaves and a qual­i­fied replace­ment is hired. There’s a learn­ing curve for the replacement.

While busi­nesses don’t expect to keep a worker from leav­ing for a good rea­son — a bet­ter posi­tion, a relo­ca­tion — good busi­nesses ensure that employ­ees don’t leave for pre­ventable rea­sons. When a per­son leaves because of inci­vil­ity, that’s preventable.

And it should be unac­cept­able to the Amer­i­can pub­lic. I can accept any elected official’s deci­sion to return to pri­vate life; what is unac­cept­able to me is a res­ig­na­tion caused by the atmos­phere in Con­gress. The atmos­phere of the past few years is reflected in Con­gress’ steadily declin­ing approval rat­ing, which hit a record low of 11 per­cent in Decem­ber 2011. It is time to demand civil behav­ior from Congress.

Rude­ness and inci­vil­ity in the work­place — and Con­gress — are pre­ventable. Pre­ven­tion begins by chang­ing the work­place cul­ture and that means change must be embraced from the top down. That change is grounded in three pow­er­ful prin­ci­ples that should gov­ern inter­ac­tions in the work­place: be con­sid­er­ate, be respect­ful, and be honest.

It’s time for con­gres­sional lead­ers to rec­og­nize that the cur­rent cul­ture is toxic and to take respon­si­bil­ity for restor­ing civil­ity in the House and Senate.

Source:Boston Globe

Writ­ten By: Peter Post

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