Al Capone once said, “You get further with a kind word and a gun than you do with a kind word alone,” and as we come out of the recession, I often wonder whether the workplace will emerge with a more Capone-esqe, dog-eat-dog approach to doing business (although without the gun!) or whether it will be a more collaborative world where nice is necessary.
I’ve never been a great fan of business books but while browsing for vacation reading at JFK recently, I stumbled on “The No Asshole Rule.” The book, by Robert Sutton, discusses building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t.
Luckily, I’ve had limited exposure to the type of people described by Sutton, but I know I am in the minority. Incivility in the workplace is rampant – a study referenced in the book said that 10% of people experience it on a daily basis and 20% were direct targets of incivility once a week.