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Creating Successful Leaders

By Margaret Smith, UXL:
According to an article in INC Magazine this month, employee to employee squabbling and sniping can not only erode a team, but even end up costing you customers and make enemies of patrons.

The article’s author, J.J. McCorvey, explains that a recent study found that “when customers witness employees being disrespectful to one another—yelling, using profane language or openly criticizing another’s performance—customers not only get mad, but they often try to punish the company in some way.” The negative repercussions of rude interactions among employees often results in complaints, boycotting, and brand erosion inside and outside the company.

Often, the study illuminated, customers felt less likely to make a future purchase with the company.

Employee is…

Rude to me

Rude to another customer

Rude to another employee

Level of anger




Likelihood of another purchase




Level of interest in the company




The study was based on a series of customer surveys that revealed that “it’s not all about the customer’s own experience”, but also about “what they [the customers] perceived as unfair behavior toward an employee.” During the study, respondents were asked to recall a time when they had “witnessed an employee being uncivil to another worker.”

A shocking 92% of the respondents said they had “subsequently made negative comments to other people about the company”, while nearly half of the respondents said that they felt “less willing to repurchase the company’s products or services.”

McCorvey rightly reminds us that no matter how we try to keep hostility and rudeness behind closed doors in the workplace, it “often has a way of trickling down to customers, whether or not they witness it directly.”

Although leaders, teammates, and owners cannot monitor all of the actions of others, we are all still capable of changing the way we personally interact with the coworkers around us. This will not only elevate our brand and enable our efforts, it will also help motivate others to improve their own attitudes and interactions.

Not only does being nice result in happier customers and coworkers, but it also results in personal benefits for YOU:

1.  Get the Projects You Want Most: Being easy to work with, and getting along with a variety of personalities, encourages others to view you as more flexible and eligible for new and different opportunities.

2.  Build and Extend Your Brand: Building a brand that includes politeness and niceness means that people will feel comfortable being honest and open with you. It also sets you up for positions involving integration and interaction with new groups, individuals, and organizations.

3.  Jobs, Projects, and People Come to You: The referrals will come flooding in from coworkers and clients if you continue to make positive energy deposits in others. This goes for your time spent on the job, as well as during the job search.

4.  You’ll Meet More People: If you’re friendly and agreeable, more people want you around, whether during a project or networking opportunity such as a dinner, party, etc.

5.  Life is Easier: Things get expedited more often, people pull strings, and others are happy to do favors. Being nice builds social capital that makes life less of a hassle and allows your dreams to be realized.

Interested in learning more about how your behavior, and your attitude, can transform your relationships, your career, and your life? Contact UXL to discover how positive change and greater self-awareness can help you to realize your own potential!


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