Incivility Damaging Our Workplace Relationships

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker United Realtors CBURE#0406046

textingChristine Pearson with the New York Times published an interesting article concerning the revelations they unearthed through a study of data gathered on more than 9,000 managers and workers across the United States.  Christine defines incivility as behavior, seemingly inconsequential to the doer, that others perceive as inconsiderate.

This morning I witnessed 2 colleagues having breakfast and observed the younger colleague spending most of his time texting and emailing.  The older gentleman tried to initialize conversation several times while his colleague rudely made no eye contact and continued directing his attention to his electronic device.  Clearly the older gentleman was annoyed and most likely feeling snubbed!  As Christine stated this kind of offense can take on a new edge when the winner is a machine!

Many will view you as inconsiderate if you ignore your colleagues while jabbering on the cell phone, keeping others waiting for an appointment while you check your email or send something electronically that should be delivered in person.

I have an agent in our office that I respect and like personally very much.  However, whenever she rides with me on propery tour she uses it as a chance to make all her phone calls while the rest of us are trying to enjoy some bonding time!  It forces us to tone our voices down and inhibits our conversation because we are forced to listen to her conversation.  I now try not to have her ride in my car as the disruption is irritating!

Colleagues interpret these snubs as: "You are less important to me than my cell phone."  In Christine's research she found when employees behave in a rude way, retribution may take place.  Those snubbed may withhold information - for example, by "forgetting" to include the offender's name on a final product.  Or they might see to it that he or she ends up with a less desirable task next time.  Or they may refuse to work with that person again.

We all are guilty at one time or another for being inconsiderate with our electronic devices.  We all need to keep our own use of electronic devices at a minimum when interacting with others.  If you an urgent need to use one, let the others know.conversation

If you are on the receiving end of an electronic disappearing act and want face-to-face attention, politely ask for it.  Setting an example can't hurt and may be the best way to get the one-on-one interaction we all like to engage in for meaningful relationships.

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Re-Bloggged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Coach KC - Albuquerque Metro Real Estate 05/24/2010 09:29 PM
  2. Donald Bradbury 05/24/2010 11:14 PM
  3. Cheryl Ritchie 05/25/2010 05:13 AM
  4. Roy Kelley 05/25/2010 07:56 AM
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phone conversations
cell phones
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Rainmaker
330,320
Shanna Hall
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311
Real Estate Solutions

Dorie- my feeling is that I always answer calls even if it is to ask if I can callthem back at a more appriopriate time.  I think the poeple around me always apprieciate that.  or soetimes I won't take the callandd send a short text letting them know when I will be able to call themback.

May 25, 2010 11:18 AM
Rainmaker
107,941
Melanie Hedrick
972-816-7205
Elite Texas Properties, Dallas & Collin Counties best homes!

I agree with #64.  Additionally, I don't like impolite behavior, but I'm more tolerant of it when it seems to be inflicted unintentionally.  There's a learning curve for good behavior that we all need to figure out when it comes to the rapidly changing way electronics allow us to communicate.  However, the old-fashioned kind of blatant rudeness, shockingly even found in posts or comments, is something I've never understood.  Good reminders like your post here are really helpful in finding a balance that is acceptable to most everyone.

May 25, 2010 12:06 PM
Rainer
23,842
Earlene Myers
Your Client Connection
Professional Greetings

Dorrie - This behavior is not only damaging workplace relationships; it is damaging our society as a whole.  I get really hyped up when people cannot give their full attention to people that they are sharing time with (whether it is a meeting, lunch, or whatever).  It is not entirely the younger generation's fault for displaying such rude behavior; what really bugs me is when parents talk on their phone while supposedly spending time with their children at parks, zoos, etc.  . . . "monkey see ~ monkey do!"

Can you tell I get a little riled on this subject??  LOL

May 25, 2010 12:08 PM
Rainmaker
190,139
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance

Agents acting badly? LOL - we have a reputation to uphold. How else would you know they sell real estate?

May 25, 2010 12:24 PM
Rainmaker
882,166
Jane Peters
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene
Power Brokers Int'l

This is not just the workplace.  I see families at restaurants with the kids playing on their cellphones.  Or a couple with one or both doing the same.  And the movies.... don't even get me started.  I had a friend carrying around her cell phone at her wedding!!!

May 25, 2010 02:23 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good afternoon Toula,

We do get this all the time. It only takes a few steps and an excuse me to step away from a group of people so they are not subjected to your conversation.

May 25, 2010 03:58 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good afternoon Charita,

Very true comment #55 just doesn't get it!

May 25, 2010 03:59 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good afternoon,

Unfortunately you may be right..we have way too many with the attitude "It's all about me!!"

May 25, 2010 04:01 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good afternoon Russell,

You are right..good manners never go out of style!

May 25, 2010 04:02 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good afternoon Barb,

There are many that think nothing of showing up 30-50 minutes late for invites to dinner. As long as they keep getting invited they don't understand this is rude!

May 25, 2010 04:05 PM
Rainmaker
325,145
Esko Kiuru

Dorie,

There are operators all over who feel empowered beyond politeness when they acquire an electronic device. Its presence appears to give them, in their own opinion, extra status that they have to flaunt. It's insecurity, really.

May 25, 2010 06:16 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good evening Esko,

I think you have a very valid point! Extra status..it's what they appear to think they have!

May 25, 2010 09:01 PM
Ambassador
1,227,360
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

I personally hate it when someone is in line at a checkout, and they are talking on the cell and don't stop at all even when the person is being checked out.

May 25, 2010 09:19 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good evening Jane,

A cell phone at your wedding..now I have heard everything!

May 25, 2010 09:52 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good evening Shelly,

Oh so true..Emily Post would be very unhappy!

May 25, 2010 09:53 PM
Rainmaker
1,591,733
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Hi Erica,

It is so irritating to stand behind someone carrying on a conversation like they are at home in private. The poor checker trying to cash them out gets totally snubbed!

May 25, 2010 09:56 PM
Ambassador
1,307,516
Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agent
REALTY ONE GROUP - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 702.443.7156

Well hello there young lady and I am so sorry I missed this post and some wonderful written words on your post! Congrats on the feature from "The Gods" and I hope you don't mind if I keep it alive with a feature at one of my favorite groups at AR ......

EXPRESS WITH WORDS AT ACTIVERAIN

Robert

May 25, 2010 11:22 PM
Rainmaker
194,585
Emily Lowe
Nashville TN Realtor
The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty

Interesting... from what I have heard, I am about in the perfect age range (Gen X) to have been taught manners with cell phones plus being able to operate at the speed of light  with the electronic devices.  It's unfortunate about those Gen Y'ers who have no concept of rudeness with electronic devices.  I get annoyed with them as well. 

Now, for my own beef with older agents, I wish they would quit taking verbal agreements.  We all need to get with the current laws and get EVERYTHING in writing!!!

May 25, 2010 11:45 PM
Ambassador
1,550,726
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

I know I've been guilty of this, though hopefully not to too great extent, and try to be aware of it.

May 26, 2010 01:57 AM
Rainmaker
259,343
Bill Travis
Broker/Owner
Captain Bill Realty, LLC

Just plain rudeness. I hate to even take a phone call when I'm talking with someone else, and unless it is an emergency I won't answer the phone. I'll call them back as soon as I'm through talking with the person I'm talking with.

 

May 27, 2010 05:19 PM
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Rainmaker
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Dorie Dillard

Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
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