Following one of the more divisive elections in recent memory, the incivility apparent in American politics is as bad as it has been in decades.
And the divide seems to permeate all aspects of society, including where we work.
In an op-ed ran in The Hill, Christine Porath, a professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, gave business leaders advice on how to prevent “the demonstrated by our political leaders” from infiltrating the workplace.
Porath, author of “Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace,” said over 60 percent of participants in a recent poll she took said “political leaders’ incivility has made them feel disrespected, and well over half claim it has distracted them from their work.”
Respondents could be the infamous “deplorables” denigrated by Hillary Clinton, or disaffected Democrats still struggling to accept that Donald Trump is now president.
Porath’s advocated for “psychological safety” in the workplace, and her advice to business leaders included:
Leaders should reassure employees that, despite political incivility and the rise of incivility in society, their workplace culture embraces civility and diversity. The issue of inclusiveness is weighing heavily on people. Over half of those I polled are thinking about inclusiveness; 40 percent are thinking about this issue at work. Managers need to assure their employees that everyone will be valued and respected.
She shared a video from last year on best practices for political discussions in the workplace:
The professor concluded that organizations can set the tone for the nation.
“The culture at work will have a potent impact on society. Civility is contagious,” she wrote. “The time is ripe for leaders to support and unite their workforce by promoting a more civil and inclusive environment. Don’t punt this opportunity away. Make the most of it.”
One thing is certain, more civility from all sides is something America could use.
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