The Impact of Rude Behaviour on a Business

Our focus is on improvement in your own life, those around you and at work. This article highlights the effect of behaviour in the context of a business, but it sometimes happens close to us too. So there is awareness of the issue (the impact of rude behaviour) and then there is what to do about it.

In NLP we would be able to offer many suggestions, depending on what the specific response is to this article. If it was to talk with those around you about it because it is impacting business, then we might have you act as a Change Agent to see what can be done. If you suddenly got a flash of yourself having done it somewhere, we would start work with creating a range of choices in your behaviour that you could use to respond to the impulse to be rude. It is great to know we always have choices, it is just a matter of chosing the appropiate choice of behaviour for each situation.

For now, take a look at the article and notice your reactions.

New research shows that rudeness between employees can have a far worse impact on a business than rudeness directed toward customers, or even employee incompetence. Christie Nicholson reports from

New Yorkers are known for having remarkably little patience for rude or incompetent service. It’s a highly competitive city, after all. But there’s another quality that might irk them even more: Witnessing employees being openly rude to each other. When I see this I feel uncomfortable, awkward, and frankly not that impressed with the business I’m patronizing.

Play the 1 minute Podcast here:

In one study an employee reprimands his colleague who is gossiping on the phone with this: “Get off the phone you idiot!” Even such customer-oriented salespeople were found to lose all respect from customers for having barked at a co-worker.

The studies confirm that witnessing an uncivil argument between two employees leaves a bad taste that goes well beyond the individual incident. Customers tend to generalize their newfound negative opinion to the entire organization, its employees and any future interactions with it. So serve it with a smile, please, for those in front of the counter and behind it.

Christie Nicholson reports from

More details from the article cited above – from the JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH:

Witnessing Incivility among Employees: Effects on Consumer Anger and Negative Inferences about Companies

We introduce the incivility construct and demonstrate that witnessing an incident of employee?employee incivility causes consumers to make negative generalizations about (a) others who work for the firm, (b) the firm as a whole, and (c) future encounters with the firm, inferences that go well beyond the incivility incident. We demonstrate the process by which these effects occur, showing that anger at the uncivil employee induces these effects. We find that anger leads to rumination about the uncivil encounter and causes customers to make quicker and more negative generalizations about related entities. We also identify boundary conditions for the relationship between incivility and negative generalizations. These process and boundary condition results add theoretically to the literature on incivility as well as that on anger’s effect on information processing.

© 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc. • Vol. 37 • August 2010, All rights reserved. 0093-5301/2010/3702-0009


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s