7 Steps to Play Nice at the Office

Dealing With Workplace Incivility

Heather Heimbaugh, M.A.
Meghan R. Lowery, Ph.D.

Do you struggle with employees who are repeatedly absent, show little effort, never seem to go the extra mile, or neither seem satisfied nor committed to their jobs?

If you answered yes to any of these, you may have a problem with workplace incivility – but your employees may not be the one struggling!

Before you start pointing fingers and placing blame on the employees, consider whether these individuals are the real the problem. More often than we realize, these counterproductive behaviors occur in reaction to the work environment or organization’s leadership. Perhaps even your own leadership could be partially at fault. Remember, when you point one finger, there are four others pointing back at you.

Specifically, we find they are reacting to non-Q4 behaviors as defined by Psychological Associates’ The Dimensional® Model of Behavior. Q4 behaviors are those that are involving, assertive, and collaborative. However, there are three other quadrants, as shown below, in which behaviors can fall as well, and those are the ones we find most troublesome in a work setting.

q4 model in hand

At this point you, or someone you know, may think, “Now, wait a minute! I am definitely not the problem. I may not be the picture of niceness all the time, but my employees do not need a friend, they need a boss. It is my job to make sure the work gets done, and if I have to occasionally raise my voice to make sure that happens, then so be it.”

There is a problem with this thinking. Even low intensity, seemingly benign behaviors like interrupting others, swearing, telling offensive jokes, conducting oneself unprofessionally, embarrassing others, subtly undermining others’ opinions, speaking condescendingly, using sarcasm, and rudeness – behaviors falling specifically in the Q1 quadrant of the Model – have the potential to produce negative consequences. These behaviors fit under the broader classification of workplace incivility, which includes any behavior that threatens the workplace norm for mutual respect, regardless of its intention.

Workplace incivility might seem relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things compared to abusive supervision, workplace aggression, or harassment. However, it can create a great deal of stress for the target when it persists for a relatively long duration, occurs with great enough frequency, or manifests in varied or unpredictable ways.

The stress often results in a variety of consequences, many the same as those resulting from higher intensity, more openly aggressive behaviors. Furthermore, these consequences are not isolated to just the target. That is, even witnessing or hearing about workplace incivility can lead to the same negative consequences, such as:

  • Damage to trust
  • Retaliatory behaviors
  • Tardiness and/or leaving work early
  • An unwillingness to help out others or “go the extra mile”
  • Decreased
    • satisfaction with one’s supervisor, coworkers, and job
    • organizational commitment
    • perceptions of justice
    • effort, productivity, and performance
  • Increased
    • job withdrawal
    • turnover intentions
    • prevalence of mental and physical health problems

Abolishing, or at the very least, lessening the prevalence of workplace incivility at your organization can help reverse many of these while  encouraging improvements to organizational functioning and performance. By demonstrating Q4 collaborative behaviors, you can make a difference in the lives of your employees. The following are some techniques to help you begin:

  1. Team up with other leaders to set an example of the type of behavior you expect to see from employees in your organization.
  2. Ensure your interactions with peers are consistent with the behavior expected from others. Even if you know with certainty that your peer will not be offended by a joke or other unprofessional behaviors, others who might overhear the interaction may not feel the same.
  3. Always treat direct reports with respect. When they make mistakes, never say something that will make them feel badly. Instead, offer your support, and collaborate in creating a plans so the mistakes do not happen again.
  4. Give all negative feedback in private. Even if your feedback is constructive, calling out a person’s weaknesses in public can cause embarrassment.
  5. When you see something that constitutes uncivil behavior, take corrective action. Although you may be wary of issues not directly involving you, the worst thing you can do is ignore the situation. Workplace incivility builds off itself, and, if left unchecked, can transform into more overt and intentional aggression. Furthermore, if the incivility is allowed to permeate, it may become a part of the organization’s culture.
  6. Build positive relationships with other employees. Take time to get to know them as individuals.
  7. Be a respectful leader. Support a work environment that instills confidence, not fear and uncertainty. It is OK to be assertive, so long as it is balanced with respect and collaboration.

Learn how to deal with difficult people at the office

Learn how to work through office conflict

Learn about our award winning leadership development program

Schedule a complimentary Talent Development Direction session to address your issues

PRESENTATION: Learning Agility

agility

Learning Agility is a hot topic these days – what exactly is it and how does it affect you?

This presentation will help you better understand what learning agility is, how to tell if someone has it, and when to know if you even need it for a specific role. The information within will help you identify, hire and promote individuals who will succeed and grow in their new positions.  After review you will be able to:

  • define learning agility
  • interview to uncover agility
  • setup an appropriate battery to assess for agility
  • understand the importance of learning agility within your organization

Learn more about our Q4 Dimensional® Model of Behavior™

Sign up for Leadership Through People Skills®

PRESENTATION: Unlock the Resistance to Change

key to change

We recently hosted a Breakfast Briefing Event to help you learn key strategies to unlock the resistance to change within your organization. Dr. Michelle Clark, Vice President of Organizational Consulting, discussed the elements of change, how understanding behavior can help you and your organization stop avoiding change, and key mistakes to avoid when dealing with change.

We know change is inevitable and employee resistance can cost a company time, money, and customers. We would like to share this presentation with those of you who were unable to attend our event. It will give you the confidence you need to embrace change and help you to coach others through it. After learning about this topic you’ll be able to:

  • Understand why people avoid change
  • Understand the stages of change
  • Address resistance
  • Avoid key mistakes

Learn more about our Q4 Dimensional® Model of Behavior™

Sign up for Leadership Through People Skills®

EVENT: Succession Planning

You Have the Right People in the Right Place Now…But What About in the Future?

succession

As a Human Resource leader, undoubtedly you are inundated with the need to assure you currently have the right people in the right roles within your organization.

Are you also working to assure your organization will continue to have the right people in the right roles in the future?

Now is the time to act. Successor development planning helps you identify and develop employees who are best positioned to contribute to the organization’s future. At this Metro-East Illinois Human Resources Group (MEI-HRG) event Psychological Associates, will illustrate how you can develop an effective system of succession planning for your organization. We will demonstrate how using one method of looking at the past performances of individuals can hamper even the most well-intended succession plans. It is a combination of past performance, future potential, and overall skills sets that put the right people in the right roles well into an organization’s future.

This event is designed for all levels of HR and anyone handling the talent management needs of an organization. It does cost to become a member of the MEI-HRG, however, this event is free to all who would like to attend.

At this event you will learn how to:

  • avoid the pitfalls of only analyzing past performance
  • combine and accurately measure past performance and skill sets
  • analyze future potential of individuals

Succession Planning – You Have the Right People in the Right Places Now…
But What About the Future
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Collinsville Golden Corral
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Seating is limited. Please fill out our registration form to reserve your spot:

Like to handle things the old-fashioned way – talking to a real live person? Give us a call to register! 314.678.5678

Learn about PA’s proprietary Dimensional® Model of Behavior™ and how it can help you

Learn about Leadership Through People Skills®

Learn about recognition Leadership Through People Skills® has received

Sign up for our leadership newsletters

Follow us on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter

EVENT: Unlock the Resistance to Change

…Key Strategies that Work!

key to change

You may not always foresee change, but you can anticipate that change in your business environment has the capability of causing resistance, or even paralyzing fear, among anyone within your organization – from the senior team to the individual contributor.

Join us at our upcoming event, Unlock the Resistance to Change: Key Strategies that Work, where we will address this resistance and help you identify leverage points at the organization, senior team, and individual levels. Dr. Michelle Clark will illustrate key strategies to help your organization adapt to changes in the marketplace, and examine strategies many companies employ that do not work. You will leave this event armed with proven tools you can use immediately to eradicate issues that hamper change within your organization.

This event is designed for attendees at the C-Suite level and above.

You will learn how to:

  • realize if you are in the way of change
  • address changes in your culture
  • adapt to changes in the marketplace

We know everyone’s change management concerns are different, and we want this event to have a big impact on your success. So we are offering a special gift to event attendees – a complimentary, individualized change management coaching session with one of our specialized Ph.D. consultants for up to one hour. You will receive a certificate at the event you can use for this complimentary session.

Unlock the Resistance to Change – Key Strategies that Work
Friday, April 5, 2013
Psychological Associates Office
8112 Maryland Avenue, Suite 300
Saint Louis, MO 63105 
7:30am – 9:00am
7:30-7:50 – Light Breakfast and Networking
7:50-8:45 Change Management Strategies
8:45-9:00 Questions and Networking

Seating and complimentary coaching sessions are limited.

Please fill out our registration form to reserve your spot:

Like to handle things the old-fashioned way – talking to a real live person? Give us a call to register! 314.678.5678

Learn about PA’s proprietary Dimensional® Model of Behavior™ and how it can help you

Learn about Leadership Through People Skills®

Learn about recognition Leadership Through People Skills® has received

Sign up for our leadership newsletters

Follow us on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter

Psychological Associates’ Dimensional® Model of Behavior™ Helps the Nursing Field

Mastering Precepting

In 2012, we announced our own Dr. Cindy Lefton had written a chapter in the ground-breaking book Mastering Precepting: A Nurse’s Handbook for Success.  In the chapter, Dr. Lefton discussed the uses and importance of Psychological Associate’s Dimensional® Model of Behavior™ in the development of nurses.

We are once again proud to announce this book has secured not one, but TWO spots on the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year Awards List!  It was voted No. 1 in the Medical-Surgical Nursing category and No. 2 in the Nursing Education category.

Congratulations to editor and author Beth Ulrich, and of course our own Dr. Cindy Lefton!

Watch out world, here comes a new generation of Q4 nurses!

View the awards list here

Download a PDF of the AJN’s Book of the Year Awards

Learn more about Mastering Precepting: A Nurse’s Handbook for Success

Purchase a copy

Learn about LTPS

Join the LTPS Group on LinkedIn

Follow Psychological Associates on LinkedIn

Follow Psychological Associates on Twitter

EVENT: 3 Reasons a Company Can Fail…

…and 1 BIG Reason It Can Succeed

q4 model in hand

Everyone knows there are many reasons a company might fail.  But not everyone knows many failures occur due to a team or individual’s behavior.  At Psychological Associates we divide behaviors into four quadrants – found in our Dimensional® Model of Behavior™.  Three of those quadrants identify behaviors that can lead a company to fail.  One of the quadrants, the one we call Q4 – describes those behaviors that are results focused and foster a company’s success.

We and the Saint Louis RCGA cordially invite you to attend a Business After-Hours Event where complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served while local business leaders share success stories. At this event you will discover what top executives at leading Saint Louis based companies such as Emerson, Centene, and Buckingham Asset Management have done to ensure successful leadership development.

We’ll also give you an inside look at our flagship workshop, the newly redesigned Leadership Through People Skills® (LTPS.) Please join us at 5:30 p.m. February 6, 2013, in the second floor gathering area of the Knight Center at Washington University to learn the behaviors that can foster your company’s success.

RCGA Business After Hours Event – 3 Reasons a Company Can Fail
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Charles F. Knight Center at Washington University
5:30 – 7pm 
Complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served  
Space is limited, please fill out our registration form to reserve your spot:

Like to handle things the old-fashioned way – talking to a real live person? Give us a call to register! 314.678.5678

Forward information about this event to a colleague

Learn more about Leadership Through People Skills®

Learn about recognition Leadership Through People Skills® has received

Sign up for our leadership newsletter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter

PRESENTATION: The Office Battleground: The Secret to End the Conflict

office battleground

We recently hosted a Breakfast Briefing Event to help you learn how to end conflict at the office. Pam Hager, Vice President of Instructional Consulting, discussed the elements of a conflict, how changing your own behavior can help the other party change, and how you can work through – and help others work through – the conflict to arrive at the best solution.

We know even the most peaceful offices have conflict, and this can cost a company time, money, and customers. We would like to share this presentation with those of you who were unable to attend our event. It will give you the confidence you need to address conflict in your office, and most importantly arrive at a successful resolution for you and your business. After learning about this topic you’ll be able to:

  • Get past conflict and get things done
  • Size up behavior to understand the conflict styles of others, using the Dimensional® Model of Behavior™
  • Re-engage affected parties to work through the underlying disagreement
  • Control your emotions and manage others’ emotions in resolving the issue

Sign up to begin receiving notice about our events

Learn more about our Q4 Dimensional® Model of Behavior™

Sign up for Leadership Through People Skills®

PRESENTATION: Gaining Employee Commitment to Increase Business Results

Our own Dr. Tom Brooks presented on the topic of employee engagement at a recent event for CEOs.  He explored the 10 things that drive employee commitment and increase bottom line results in any organization.

Below is Dr. Brooks’ presentation so you, too, can learn the essential elements of a committed workforce and how to gain commitment from your own employees. Topics covered in this presentation include:

  • The case for engagement
  • Specific drivers of engagement
  • Connecting workplace changes and engagement
  • Motivators of a committed workforce
  • Who owns responsibility of driving engagement

You can view the presentation in its entirety on slideshare or by using the widget below.

Watch for additional events and presentations coming soon from Psychological Associates.

As the leaders in organizational and leadership strategy and development solutions, we help our clients evolve into the organizations they wish to become. We offer talent management programs for some of the top Global 1000 companies. From assessments of new recruits to executive coaching and development to team building and numerous other programs, our Ph.D.s are well-versed on the needs of our Fortune 1000 clients.

To learn more about our offerings visit www.q4solutions.com/offerings.

At Psychological Associates we offer an exceptional leadership program called Leadership Through People Skills® on a monthly basis here in Saint Louis.  Leadership Through People Skills® is an intensive, three-day event that uses real-world issues and situations to give executives the opportunity to learn and apply the interpersonal leadership skills that are proven contributors to leadership success.  It teaches men and women how to use the appropriate amount of assertiveness and compassion as a leader; and helps grow the skills that help leaders obtain goals quicker.  LTPS provides rich, personal insights about leadership effectiveness and style. It strengthens influencing and people skills. It builds successful leaders.

We have also developed a group on LinkedIn where leaders can go to network with successful leaders across the globe and receive tips and articles from us as well as other individual contributors.  Join us in our LTPS group on Linkedin!

Learn more about Leadership Through People Skills®

Learn about recognition Leadership Through People Skills® has received

Sign up for our leadership newsletter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter

PRESENTATION: Global Talent: Selection, Management and Leadership

Psychological Associates’ Dr. Ann Beatty recently gave a presentation to the Washington University Olin Business School’s Executive MBA students about Global Talent: Selection, Management, and Leadership. The presentation is relevant for any company that is currently working on a global scale or that is considering broadening its reach.  This presentation discusses both the benefits and challenges of a global workforce.

In today’s fast-paced and global business environment, executives must navigate the opportunities and challenges of a multicultural workforce where distance is not the only differentiator. Dr. Beatty utilizes a client case study to explore these differences and demonstrate how companies can profit from the use of specific strategies to build a successful team.

You can view the presentation in its entirety on slideshare or by using the widget below.

Psychological Associates offers talent management programs for some of the top Global 1000 companies. From assessments of new recruits to executive coaching to team building and numerous other programs, our Ph.D.s are well-versed on the needs of our global clients. We prepare organizations to achieve the future they envision. To learn more about our offerings visit www.q4solutions.com/offerings.

At Psychological Associates we offer an exceptional leadership program called Leadership Through People Skills® on a monthly basis here in Saint Louis.  Leadership Through People Skills® is an intensive, three-day event that uses real-world issues and situations to give executives the opportunity to learn and apply the interpersonal leadership skills that are proven contributors to leadership success.  It teaches men and women how to use the appropriate amount of assertiveness and compassion as a leader; and helps grow the skills that help leaders obtain goals quicker.  LTPS provides rich, personal insights about leadership effectiveness and style. It strengthens influencing and people skills. It builds successful leaders.

We have also developed a group on LinkedIn where leaders can go to network with successful leaders across the globe and receive tips and articles from us as well as other individual contributors.  Join us in our LTPS group on Linkedin!

Learn more about Leadership Through People Skills®

Learn about recognition Leadership Through People Skills® has received

Sign up for our leadership newsletter

Follow us on LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter