The Workplace Civility Crisis: A New Book

My new book on workplace incivility has just been released by Springer publishing.

I wrote this book because I recognize that the quality of relationships among people at work makes a meaningful contribution to a workgroup’s wellbeing and productivity. Beyond these practical implications, the dynamics of civility and incivility among people at work provide important insights into basic psychological processes connected with group membership and the ways people engage with their work.

The book builds from five core propositions:

    1. People want to belong to social groups

    2. People notice how others view their status within their social group

    3. Workgroup climates are self-perpetuating

    4. Improving workgroup civility benefits from psychological safety

    5. Improving civility requires a reflective process.

A major theme in the book is that groups can improve the level of civility and respect in their worklife through a reflective process.

    Values. That process begins with clear, shared values about the quality of working relationships.

    Reflection. Those values become more active and meaningful when team members have thoughtful conversations about their relationships.

    Action. Those conversations gain substance when team members take action, beginning with practicing civility within a psychologically safe group environment.

    Application. This practice becomes consequential when team members integrate new ways of interacting in their day-to-day worklife.

An important message from the book—and from the research on which rests—is that workgroups can change for the better.

An important limitation from the book—and from that same research—is that change is an effortful process. It requires groups to make a serious commitment to change, to dedicate time to a changes process, and to focus their attention on bringing that change about.

Neither an inspired group leader nor a visionary executive can develop a workgroup. Positive change is a shared commitment. The process is part of the impact.

This entry was posted in Areas of Worklife, Burnout, Civility, CREW, Dysfunctional Groups, Leadership, Psychological Resilience, Respect, Uncategorized, Work Engagement, Workgroups, Worklife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Workplace Civility Crisis: A New Book

  1. Heriberto says:

    Dear Dr. Leiter:

    I agree with you. commitment is a key issue and also a fragil one. Members of the group must be also creative and must share common goals and fair rewards. Leaders should provide the scenario for commitment, taking care of balance among group members, their values, their performance and rewards.
    I think it is rhe only way a workgroup could concentrate in commitment.

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks Heriberto
    Creativity is a powerful part of the solution to workgroup challenges. An important role for leaders is developing an environment in which people feel free to explore new ideas.

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Canada’s answer to improving worklife!

Michael Leiter

Dr. Michael Leiter, co-author of Banishing Burnout and The Truth about Burnout, is set to release his newest book on Work Engagement. Dr. Leiter founded the Canadian Centre for Organizational Research & Development and has researched organizational behaviour for more than two decades. He knows how to improve an organization’s bottom line (productivity and profitability by improving its top line - people. In fact, he and his co-author coined the term "work engagement" as the antithesis to burnout!

Over the years, Dr. Leiter has worked closely with a host of researchers, including Dr. Christine Maslach, creator of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and most recently, with Dr. Arnold Bakker on work engagement. Now, through work with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) - the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. - Dr. Leiter has the CREW Solution.

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...when you wake up feeling ill?

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