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Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t
Don’t be an asshole. Don’t be a victim of one.
Follow “The No Asshole Rule.”
About Robert I. Sutton
Robert I. Sutton is an author, an advisor and a Professor at Stanford Business School
“The No Asshole Rule Summary”
Assholes are everywhere.
They are those people who put down and bully others.
Even ourselves sometimes act like assholes, for example when we have a bad day.
But that is temporary asshole behavior.
Certified assholes, on the other hand, are assholes by character.
Their behavior is not a result of a bad day, but it is a long-term pattern.
They express their hostility mentally or physically, through verbal or non-verbal cues.
If you are a victim of an asshole, you will feel afraid, angry, and even humiliated.
The workplace also can be filled with assholes. These assholes intimidate and insult employees, interrupt others while they are trying to express themselves, put them down or ignore them altogether.
And still, they get away with it.
In fact, very often, they even rise to management positions.
How do they do that?
Assholes are smart enough to know whom to treat badly. Hence, they always are courteous and respectful towards the clients and superiors, while mistreating other co-workers.
That is why many companies tolerate assholes, without realizing how it affects the business.
But, such behavior is bad for business, especially when these people assume the role of superiors.
Observations show that in an environment where assholes get away with their conduct, employee morale is low.
Which, of course, affects the staff’s productivity, since employees focus on avoiding humiliation, instead of on focusing on doing a good job.
To create a sound working environment, companies need to adopt “The No Asshole Rule.”
And this rule should apply to every employee, who holds any kind of position.
It should even apply to customers who put down the employees for no good reason.
More equality equals fewer assholes.
Key Lessons from “The No Asshole Rule”
1. How to Reduce Asshole Behavior
2. The Best Motivators of People
3. Building Emotional Distance
How to Reduce Asshole Behavior
The way business should go about reducing asshole behavior is decreasing the social distance between the staff.
You can do this using different means, one of which is keeping the wage gap as narrow as you can.
The Best Motivators of People
People are best motivated by two things: recognition and incentives.
These positive techniques are long lasting and will keep the office morale high, and hence increase productivity and quality.
Building Emotional Distance
If you are a victim of asshole behavior, you can build emotional distance by realizing that:
- You are not the reason the problem occurred.
- The problem will not last forever – it is temporary.
- The problem will not extend out of the workplace and ruin the rest of your life.
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“The No Asshole Rule” QuotesThe difference between how a person treats the powerless versus the powerful is as good a measure of human character as I know. Click To Tweet Fight as if you are right, listen as if you are wrong. Click To Tweet Listen to those under your supervision. Really listen. Don’t act as if you’re listening and let it go in one ear and out the other. Faking it is worse than not doing it at all. Click To Tweet People also have a greater capacity when they aren’t worn down by work and worry. Click To Tweet Assholes tend to stick together, and once stuck are not easily separated. Click To Tweet