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It’s crunch time.

The end of the year is near. Deadlines loom. And the holidays drive increased levels of stress.

Somedays, it can be hard to muster a smile, much less a kind word. Rudeness can rear its ugly head.

But abrasiveness, insensitivity and bullying take a huge toll on productivity and quality of work. Research shows that an environment of incivility causes more mistakes, lowers job engagement, and increases turnover.

And uncivil bosses don’t last. The number one reason tied to executive failure is a lack of kindness and sensitivity. Uncivil executives in times of weakness don’t have anyone to back them up.

Turns out that civility pays off in big ways. The simple acts of smiling, saying hello, and listening intently lift others up.

According to Christine Porath, author of “Mastering Civility,” when we lift others up through kindness, we’re more likely to be seen as leaders, and improve our own performance.

It’s because when you’re kind, people see you as more warm and competent, friendly and smart.

So, how can we act with more civility? Here’s a simple hack: Ochsner Health in New Orleans has a 10-5 principle. If you’re within 10 feet of someone, you make eye contact and smile, and if you’re within five feet, you say hello.

When Ochsner adopted this simple method, civility spread, patient satisfaction scores rose, and patient referrals went up.

Civility lifts people up. It boosts personal and organization performance. It helps people reach their potential.

Porath sums it up well: “What I know from my research is that when we have more civil environments, we’re more productive, creative, helpful, happy and healthy.”

Have a great week.

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