Going It Alone

Rome Stairs

A recurring question in discussions of workplace incivility is about going it alone.

My approach to addressing workplace incivility has a few core qualities:

1 A collaborative process with

2 A strong structure

3 Working towards increasing civility.

The CREW approach implements these principles in a straightforward way with active support from leadership on the workgroup and the organizational levels.

The question of going it alone comes from employees who are convinced that leadership on either or both of those levels lack a sincere commitment to improving civility and respect. Often in these instances, employees perceive their immediate supervisor a direct source of disrespect or a model for other team members to behave badly or both.

There are two possible goals when going it alone.

A more modest and perhaps more attainable goal is to refine and improve one’s reaction to uncivil social encounters. Disrespect has an emotional impact that can prompt fear, rage, embarrassment, or other strong feelings. These emotions may resonate for a long time. These emotions may prompt reactions that may be poorly considered in terms of their civility or their risk potential.

A more ambitious goal is to behave in a way that prompts others to improve their social encounters. The goal would be to find ways to encourage others to behave civilly in the first instance. When lapses occur, it would be to encourage others to reflect upon their bad behavior, to make amends, and seek to improve their behavior in the future.


Have you experienced or witnessed individuals pursuing either of these goals?

What success have you seen from either of these approaches?


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