It will come as no surprise to readers who have to endure RUDE bosses or company owners. Their rude behaviour is contagious within an organisation.
A significant research paper – where over 6000 people were surveyed (not the usual ’50 people were asked’) revealed that rudeness, particularly with senior staff, has a negative effect within an organisation. Interestingly, the researchers defined rudeness as being anything from taking the credit for work others have completed, to excluding individuals from information – or even invitations to specific events and meetings. The research from Lund University in Sweden (read here) concluded that unless these activities and behaviour traits were addressed, it could lead to dissatisfaction within an organisation.
I thought it was significant that the researchers distinguished this behaviour as not being bullying at first, and that current employment legislation does not cover this behaviour: which is basically crossing the line of respectful behaviour towards others. Of course, we all know that a bully will check the boundaries of others, and if they get away with it, they will push further. One could argue that a particular type of person might start by being rude and disrespectful, before a case of bullying starts.
What also struck me was that if senior people within an organisation behave rudely and disrespectfully towards subordinates, this behaviour spreads as does dissatisfaction with the jobs of more junior people. How often have we felt undervalued or undermined by the rude behaviour of a boss?
So much has been written about characteristics of leaders: communication and presence being two that are recognised as skills required to be a successful leader. In a way, this research highlights the importance of being an effective, not rude communicator. If you are rude to your team or undermine them, they will lose respect and not work with you. Interesting….