Tag Archives | Civility

Culture Leadership Charge – A Crisis of Respect

We face a crisis of respect and civility in the US today.

This crisis is not unique to Americans but a recent study describes the huge concerns many Americans have with civility and respect in our country right now.

The biggest recent story is the exposure of some Hollywood producers and directors for years of sexual harassment and sexual assault of female actors. The #MeToo hashtag has exploded with women across all industries and countries sharing their experiences of sexual harassment and assault by men in power.

Incivility and disrespect play out every day in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, politics, and social media networks around the globe.

The 2017 survey of Civility in America, an annual study undertaken by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate, and KRC Research, found that the belief that the US has a major civility problem is at a record high – nearly 70% of respondents agreed with that statement. 75% of Americans believe that incivility has risen to crisis levels. 73% feel that the US is losing stature as a civil nation.

Only 22% of respondents believe civility in America will get better in the coming years.

Disrespect and incivility erode trust, performance, service, and proactive problem solving – in our neighborhoods and workplaces.

There is a solution to this crisis of respect and civility.

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I describe this simple, actionable solution in detail.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) videos that describe proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube channel. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

Check out @scedmonds #Culture #Leadership Charge video series on @YouTube http://drtc.me/ytube Click To Tweet

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To what degree is your home, community, and workplace a sanctuary of civility and respect? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Customer Service Sucks.

iStock_000028011908XSmallMany of us know from day-to-day experiences that customer service is getting worse, not better.

A recent study from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business found that the number of US households that experienced customer rage has grown from 60 percent two years ago to 68 percent today.

Based on a study originally conducted by the White House in 1976, the current research estimates that 58 million American households experienced at least one customer service issue in the past 12 months. Other insights from the study include:

  • We’re yelling at customer-service representatives more frequently – 36 percent now compared to 25 percent in previous rage studies.
  • We’re cursing at reps more frequently – up from 7 percent to 13 percent today.
  • We post customer complaints on social media sites more often, from 19 to 36 percent since 2011.
  • Most of those who complain (56 percent) say they got nothing in return (up 9 percentage points since the 2011 survey).

Yet, some companies choose to WOW their customers, consistently. MSN Money asked Zogby Analytics to help identify USA customer service “Hall of Fame” companies. You’ll not be surprised at the top five service providers: Amazon, Marriott, Hilton, UPS, and FedEx. Amazon, the top scorer, was rated as excellent by over 57% of respondents!

Companies have a huge opportunity to create customer zealots – WOW’ed customers – when they respond quickly and appropriately when things go wrong. The customer rage study found that when companies added free remedies (like an apology) to any monetary relief they gave customers, satisfaction doubled (from 37 to 74 percent).

Here are some ideas that might boost your team or company’s service image in the eyes of customers:

  • Make customer excellence everyone’s responsibility. If you have a customer service “department,” that means a team member doesn’t have to address the complaint. They can shuffle a dissatisfied customer off to someone else!
  • Make customer relationships more important than customer revenues. Positive, caring customer relationships create loyalty, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and consistent customer satisfaction. Which, by the way, boosts revenues and profits, consistently.
  • Let service staff show that they care. Ask them to listen to the customer’s complaint and learn what the customer experienced, without defending. Teach them to say, authentically, “I’m sorry. That shouldn’t have happened.”
  • Allow customer service representatives the latitude to fix the problem, immediately, in the moment. Ritz Carlton Hotels have a policy that lets any employee spend up to $2,000 to resolve a customer complaint without the need for anyone else’s approval. Set a limit of, say, $500 – and allow problems to be addressed promptly.
  • Examine patterns and trends in customer issues. Fix process issues and eliminate stupid policies. Dealing with new service issues is challenging enough; dealing with the same service issues, over and over, is dumb.

Don’t leave customer relationships to chance. Be intentional. Help staff to show genuine LOVE for your customers, even the quirky ones, every day.

What do you think? What great customer relationships does your team or company create daily? What policies or practices get in the way of consistently WOW’ing your customers? Share your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

Subscribe to my free weekly blog & podcast updates. Subscribers enjoy two “fabulous gifts:” my Be a GREAT Boss ebook plus an excerpt from my new #GREAT Bosses tweet book.

Add your experiences to two fast & free research projects I have underway. The Great Boss Assessment compares your current boss’ behaviors with those of great bosses. The Performance-Values Assessment compares your organization’s culture practices to those of high performing, values-aligned organizations. Results and analysis are available on my research page.

Photo © istockphoto.com/SoumenNath. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on these podcasts is from one of Chris’ songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). Chris plays all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Want to Build Trust? Be Civil.

Spiral in handsTwo-thirds of Americans believe people can’t be trusted.

So says a recent AP/GfK study. When this survey was first conducted in 1972, half of Americans felt that people were trustworthy. The current numbers, showing Americans believe only one third of people are trustworthy, are the lowest trust rating in the survey’s history.

Globally, trust takes a beating, as well. The Edelman Trust Barometer 2013 data shows a global trust score of 57 on a 100 point scale.

This trust deficit is repairable – over time, one person at a time.

You can choose to eliminate behaviors that erode trust between you and those you live with and work with – and demonstrate behaviors that build trust.

Consider using these trust building behaviors in every interaction:

  • Be Civil.
    This is the most powerful of the trust building behaviors in this list. Treat others kindly, even if they’re treating you or others unkindly. Look people in the eye. Debate ideas while honoring the person. Say, “Thank you.” Say, “I’m sorry.” Honor others’ efforts as well as their accomplishments. Act on the belief that everyone is doing the best they can under present circumstances.
    I often get push back when I propose civility. “What about people who call you names, who say you’re stupid, who belittle you with every breath?” We interact with challenging folks sometimes. I believe in others’ rights to their own opinion but choose to insulate myself from those who act out, who must make others look bad for them to feel good. I can’t fix them – it’s not my job to fix them. And, I can be consistently civil to them while I disengage from them.
  • Do What You Say You Will Do.
    Choose to be responsible and accountable for what you’ve promised to do or to deliver. Demonstrate commitment to your commitments! Make promises intentionally and clearly, and follow through on your promises.
    You can control only what you can control, AND, you can communicate progress or possible issues proactively. If plans go awry and you’re at risk for missing a commitment, inform all key players as soon as possible. Map out a plan to deliver, then keep that promise.
  • Expect the Best and Give the Benefit of the Doubt.
    We create self-fulfilling prophesies in our world all the time, for better or worse. If I believe, for example, that my step-daughter will not do her chores on the day we’re hosting a big party, I’ll be on the lookout for her doing anything except what I think she should be doing. And, I’ll call her out on it. (This is a completely hypothetical scenario, of course. NOT. I did this more than once, years ago.)
    Create positive self-fulfilling prophesies! Set people up for success when giving them a goal or task. Clearly outline the standard that’s needed for that goal, then ask what they need to meet that target. If a milestone is missed, don’t assume this person “has it out for you.” Simply check in, verify the milestone, and ask for an update.

What do you think? How do you “keep it civil” with family, work colleagues, community members, and even strangers? In what ways do you keep your commitment to your commitments? Share your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

Subscribe to my free weekly blog & podcast updates. Subscribers enjoy two “fabulous gifts:” my Be a GREAT Boss ebook plus an excerpt from my new #GREAT Bosses tweet book.

Add your experiences to two fast & free research projects I have underway. The Great Boss Assessment compares your current boss’ behaviors with those of great bosses. The Performance-Values Assessment compares your organization’s culture practices to those of high performing, values-aligned organizations. Results and analysis are available on my research page.

Photo © istockphoto.com/style-photographs. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on these podcasts is from one of Chris’ songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). Chris plays all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

3

You Get What You Reward (or Tolerate)

Business relationWhy do middle managers act the way they do? Why do front line employees behave as they do?

A coaching client of mine recently told me of a loud disagreement that happened between two of this CEO’s direct reports. These two senior leadership team members had a loud argument in the middle of the corporate office, in view (and hearing range) of over 40 staff members.

The argument got nasty quickly with both participants cussing each other out then storming off, frustrated and angry.

This CEO told me, “This happens all the time between many of my direct reports. They yell and scream and cuss, then come to me, demanding that I fire the person they argued with.”

I asked how long this behavior had been going on. “Oh,” the CEO said, “probably for 10 years.”

I asked if middle managers or even front line staff had similar public blow ups. “Oh, sure,” the CEO said, “that happens, as well. I wish people would treat each other better.”

I asked, “Why have you tolerated this bad behavior from your senior executives for so long?

Silent pause.

The CEO said, “I told them to stop it, but they haven’t.”

I said, “You’re enjoying exactly what you deserve – you are tolerating bad behavior from senior staff with no consequences and no redirection. No wonder middle managers and front line staff act out – their bosses model it daily.”

Disagreements about ideas are fine! Personal attacks and profanity erode trust, respect, and performance – they’re a huge no-no.

If You Want A Civil Workplace, You Must Enforce a Civil Workplace

To enjoy a civil workplace, you must define how good corporate citizens behave. Define values in observable, tangible, measurable terms so that everyone knows what behavior is expected. With measurable behaviors, leaders can get feedback from their peers and employees regarding how they’re perceived. Staff can tell them, through employee surveys, “Do your leaders model these behaviors or not?”

Behaviors like these help create a “playing field” where players debate ideas and solutions but maintain trust and respect for their peers and staff:

  • I do not take it personally when someone challenges a process that I own.
  • I listen with noble intent, seeking to understand the speaker’s viewpoint and needs.
  • I only use language that is respectful, fit for a “family newspaper.”
  • I see conflict as an opportunity for our company and our processes to get better – not a battle to defeat a peer.
  • I challenge disrespectful behavior in interactions I’m involved in or that I observe.

I’ve coached this CEO at length and have been invited to observe executive team meetings to help understand this team’s dynamics. I’m confident the CEO and his direct reports can shift expectations to consistently civil interactions.

How civil is your workplace? When issues arise, how are they dealt with – with respect and cooperation, or not so much?

Contribute your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

What is it like to live in your organization’s culture? Share your experiences in my fast & free Performance-Values Assessment. Results and analysis are described on my blog’s research page.

This research can help you refine your organization’s corporate culture. Contact me to discuss conducting the Performance-Values Assessment in your company.

Photo © istockphoto.com/shironosov. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on these podcasts is from one of Chris’ songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). Chris plays all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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