Rudeness costs (article from the NYT).

Stephen John Smoogen smooge at
Mon Nov 29 21:04:45 UTC 2010

This was pointed out to me today : which is
an article on the 'costs' of rudeness. For the most part I found the
article 'light' on facts and a lot of 'citation needed' but found
these three quotes interesting:

Quote 1:

Professor Boyd said he saw signs of declining courtesy but warned
against comparing today against some mythical past.

“People always say things are getting worse, but I’m not sure it’s
true,” he said. “And even if there’s something to today’s complaints
about increasing rudeness and incivility, you have to put these in the
broader context of a longstanding tradition of critics of American

Quote 2 (also from Professor Boyd):

“To fail to be civil to someone — to treat them harshly, rudely or
condescendingly — is not only to be guilty of bad manners,” he wrote
in a 2006 article, “The Value of Civility?” for the journal Urban
Studies. “It also, and more ominously, signals a disdain or contempt
for them as moral beings. Treating someone rudely, brusquely or
condescendingly says loudly and clearly that you do not regard her as
your equal.”

Quote 3:

There are solutions, although they are not easy. “First, leaders can
put something into their orientation code or credo that they expect
employees to be treated with respect,” Professor Pearson said. ”It’s
amazing how many expect their employees to treat customers with
respect and how few worry about how their colleagues treat each

Most important, she said, people at the top have to be willing to
model civility, discipline those who act badly and be consistent —
that is, not let someone considered a superstar get away with

Or to summarize. One comparisons to a 'mythical' good time of courtesy
are usually flawed. Human memories are built to make certain things
always look better than now, and other things worse than now. Two, in
general there are costs with being blunt, rude, brusque, etc in human
interactions in how people work together. Three, any solutions are
going to be tough ones to implement and keep consistent.

Stephen J Smoogen.
"The core skill of innovators is error recovery, not failure avoidance."
Randy Nelson, President of Pixar University.
"Let us be kind, one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard
battle." -- Ian MacLaren

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