I cringe every time I see or hear the words "nice" or "civil" or even "appropriate" used to describe desirable workplace behavior. I would so much rather work with and around people who are kind, generous, clear and direct in their communication. A humane workplace isn't a place without upset, where everyone skips through fields of daisies holding hands and singing the team song. A humane workplace makes room for authentic human beings, committed to a common vision and mission, doing their best to get the results they desire.
A humane workplace starts with clear, direct communication. Here are ten ways to contribute to the humanity of your workplace.
1. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t say “yes” when you mean “no,” for example.
2. Don’t confuse your opinions, judgments and assessments with the truth, or with any kind of objective reality.
3. Don’t attempt to read minds. When in doubt, ask directly.
4. State all commitments and agreements clearly and explicitly. Be explicit and clear about what will happen if agreements are not kept.
5. Keep your commitments, and agreements without complaint. If you have to renege on something you’ve agreed to, accept the consequences without complaint.
6. State your expectations, clearly and explicitly. This includes your expectations about how others will behave or treat you. Know that some of your expectations will not be met. Be ready to handle disappointment.
7. Trust that the others you work with will do what they agree to do. If they fail to do what they agree to do, see Rule #8.
8. Take your disappointments, complaints, grievances, and disputes directly to the person with whom you have a complaint, a grievance, or a dispute. Do not involve a third party
9. If someone brings you a complaint, grievance, or dispute with someone else, refuse to have the conversation with them and ask them to take it to the person with whom they have complaint, a grievance, or a dispute. Do not be the third party.
10. Keep your personal life and your professional life separate and distinct. Even if you are friends with coworkers outside of the workplace, keep your personal life out of your working relationship.
That's a start. Now go do it!