On being civil

I was browsing LinkedIn the other day and came across a short TED video on being civil to get ahead in one's career.

After decades in the workplace, I find it unsettling that humans still need to be told that tolerance, empathy and respect can be beneficial approaches to help you progress in life (not just work).

Over the years, I've worked in harmonious, okay and toxic work environments. It's been the cooperative places that have the best memories and achievements. That doesn't mean those places have not been fun or without disagreements. It does mean there's been respect, listening and empathy, aiming for the best outcome, not the best putdown. 

As a Brit abroad for the last fifteen-plus years, my challenge has been redefining the boundary for banter. North America/Canada/BC/Vancouver has been different. The difficulty in establishing where Brit humour can stray and where it will be seen as threatening or offensive needs to be navigated with care, especially in the workplace. I also recognise that times have moved on and things that may have been accepted in the past are now NSFW or life. And that's a good thing. Thinking about one's choice of words is important. 

Yet here we are, needing to be reminded that being civil and professional in the workplace can be helpful. I find it saddening that some still thrive on division, deceit and disrespect in the pursuit of success. The positive news is that 'jerks' do not always win. Being warm is seen as being competent. And that sits comfortably with me. Although I'll also reserve the right to Brit banter when it's appropriate.

Watch the TED Talk

Find me on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top