Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct
by P.M. Forni
Choosing Civility is about counteracting the “coarsening of America.” It was published in 2002, but is more relevant than ever.
“Being civil means being constantly aware of others and weaving restraint, respect, and consideration into the fabric of this awareness… When we approach others assuming that they are good, honest, and sensitive, we often encourage them to be just that.”
“Every act of kindness is, first of all, an act of attention… When we relate to the world as if we were on automatic pilot, we can hardly be at our best in our encounters with our fellow human beings.”
“Restraint is our inner designated driver. We all have it, and we all can learn to summon it whenever we need it… Restraint is an infusion of thinking—and thoughtfulness—into everything we do.”
The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness
by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
You may not be familiar with the authors’ names, but you are probably familiar with their work. They are the founding partners of the advertising agency responsible for the Aflac duck campaign. One of them wrote the “I want to be a Toys R Us Kid” jingle earlier in her career.
Their message is that being nice (but not phony) in personal and professional encounters builds goodwill, which can lead to big and small rewards. Many examples are included in the book. Continue reading
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t
by Robert I. Sutton
Assholes create a toxic work environment, destroying productivity. Sutton introduces the Total Cost of Assholes (TCA) metric. In the case of a salesman named Ethan, the cost was estimated at $160,000, including time spent by Ethan’s manager, HR professionals, senior executives, outside counsel, as well as the costs related to high turnover of support staff.
Sutton warns not to hire wimps and polite clones. “A series of controlled experiments and field studies in organizations show that when teams engage in conflict over ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect, they develop better ideas and perform better. For this reason, Intel requires all new employees to take “constructive confrontation class.”
Sutton, Robert I. The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. New York: Business Plus, 2010. Buy from Amazon.com