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McKinsey's thoughts on jerks!

This morning I dropped some dry cleaning off and as always the two owners of the Monson Cleaner on Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa were smiling, welcoming and made me feel good! What a great way to start my day! What a nice environment to work in! If you live in the area I recommend them highly!

Colleen Francis a noted sales trainer that we work with at Eagle has always been of the opinion that being nice was one of the qualities of the top sales producers. In support of Colleen's contention I recently saw a McKinsey report called "Building the civilized workplace" which says that nasty people don't just make others feel miserable, they create economic problems for their companies!

The author lists the possible areas of damage that jerks can cause in a company. There is the productivity and morale issues that affect people around the jerk, both victims and witnesses to the behavior. There is a reluctance by others to work with the jerk, which causes issues. Management time is spent in dealing with all of the fallout. There may well be legal and HR related costs caused by their behavior. When the jerk is in a position of power, or if the organization has a culture that encourages the "jerk" behavior then systemic issues occur throughout the organization. Turnover, difficulty in hiring, poor general productivity and behaviors are all rife.

The article even lists a "dirty dozen" of "jerk-like" behaviors.

1. Personal insults.
2. Invading coworker personal territory.
3. Uninvited physical contact.
4. Threats and intimidation, verbal and non-verbal.
5. Sarcastic jokes and teasing used an insult delivery mechanism.
6. Withering emails.
7. Status slaps intended to humiliate victims.
8. Public shaming or status degradation rituals.
9. Rude interruptions.
10. Two-faced attacks.
11. Dirty looks.
12. Treating people as if they were invisible.

The article talks about instigating a "no jerk" rule in your company. Developing a culture that does not allow that kind of behavior, does not hire those kind of people and will not even deal with clients or suppliers who exhibit jerk-like tendencies.

Life is way too short to put up with jerks at work, and I'm sure many "jerks" don't even realize the impact of their behavior. Perhaps we should all adopt the "no jerks" rule, life would be that much more pleasant. Clearly my favorite dry cleaner and one of Canada's top sales trainers subscribe to the same theory, and I enjoy my interactions with both.