Being civil in the workplace is addressed in the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) publication, "Civility & Respect in the Workplace." They define civility as behavior that: “shows respect toward another and causes another to feel valued. [Civility] Contributes to mutual respect, effective communication, and team collaboration.” As leaders within our organizations, our colleagues look to us and model our behavior. What culture are we enforcing at work, what do we take home, and vice versa? How we show up in the world matters.
It pays to be kind
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Karma. What goes around comes around. Pay it forward. No matter the phrase, what you put out into the world, you get back. Why not put out kindness? That’s not to say that every day we feel kind or even have anything nice to say, especially during times like these. I get just as frustrated and even angry as anyone else. But I try my level best not to dwell in those feelings and try to avoid projecting them on others.
Science has proven that kindness helps your mental state. Research shows that learning to be kind, and actively practicing kindness affects our attitude, outlook, and health. In fact, a Happiness.com article references a 2018 study that focused on employees at a company in Spain. The study found that when workers were asked to either perform an act of kindness for a coworker or count the number of kind acts for which they were on the receiving end, that those receiving the kinds acts become happier. However, those who delivered the kindness benefited more, showing not only increased happiness, but also higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of depression.
There have been many studies on the effects of kindness. The example of the employees in Spain looked at how we can benefit at work, but we should carry these practices into our daily lives.