Communication and BehaviorManaging Emotions

The Value of Civility in Conflict

By September 3, 2015 No Comments

There are remarkable parallels between the costs of poorly managed conflict and incivility in the workplace.

Dan Dana’s Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict instrument and Porath and Pearson’s book , The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It, outline a wide range of costs associated with conflict and incivility. Many of them overlap, such as:

  • Absenteeism
  • Wasted time worrying about the issue
  • Avoiding the other person
  • Turnover
  • Lower motivation

Both poorly managed conflict and incivility promote poor corporate citizenship behavior. People begin to act badly towards one another and this malady spreads. As it does, creativity and innovation are impaired as people begin to avoid discussing issues openly with one another.

Effective leaders address this problem by promoting civility among their workforce and moving to develop conflict management skills among their managers and employees. During stressful times it is essential to promote a positive atmosphere which includes dealing with natural differences openly and honestly.