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According to an article recently published in the New York Times, rudeness, even just “slight incivility”, has a negative impact upon those exposed to it. The article concerns a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics by several co-authors from the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University and the Bnai Zion Medical Center.
- “Rudeness is routinely experienced by medical teams. We sought to explore the impact of rudeness on medical teams’ performance and test interventions that might mitigate its negative consequences.”
- “Rudeness has robust, deleterious effects on the performance of medical teams. Moreover, exposure to rudeness debilitated the very collaborative mechanisms recognized as essential for patient care and safety. Interventions focusing on teaching medical professionals to implicitly avoid cognitive distraction such as CBM may offer a means to mitigate the adverse consequences of behaviors that, unfortunately, cannot be prevented.”
- Branch 1 is when someone, a customer or a prospect (or a comment on your blog, Facebook post or a review) makes a rude comment. It could be about your product or service, about your business or industry, or even about you personally. I see this time and again with my clients. Even if you feel that you have a “thick skin” and you can get past it, it can affect you negatively in some way. Perhaps your response (or lack of response) suffers. Perhaps, if you’re in the midst of a meeting or service delivery, it throws you. You have to devote cognitive resources to absorbing and, hopefully, getting past or dealing with the comment, and so those resources are no longer available for you to use to effectively finish that meeting or complete the service delivery in your normal high-value manner.
- Branch 2 is when you make what you feel is a “harmless, ‘honest’ remark” in the hearing of a client or even just someone who happens to be near by. The reputation of you and your company is at stake, and you just gave these people a reason to think less of you, at best, or never do business with you and bad mouth you to others forever, at worst. Neither of these is a good thing.