A recent study conducted by the University of Florida, studied 24 medical teams in Israel, one doctor and two nurses. The teams participated in a training simulation with a case study presenting an infant with symptoms consistent with decaying intestines. The team had to make the proper diagnosis and subscribe the correct treatments. Half the teams were insulted twice by a doctor on the phone saying something similar to, “I’m not at all impressed with the state of medicine here. You wouldn’t last a week in my ER!” The teams that were insulted had a 52% drop in performance. Rudeness affected their working memory, comprehension and ability to reason.
In groups where customers witnessed incivility between two employees, interest in the company’s products dropped from 80% to 20%. Personal attacks cause “brain burns”- intrusive thoughts and ruminations that can bother us for years.
When we are ostracized, the same neural regions in the brain light up that are activated in physical pain. According to social psychologist, Roy Baumeister, PhD, “Rejection blocks the need to belong, which I would argue is the most powerful motivation there is. And when rejection blocks it, it seems to throw a lot off. All the inner machinery loses its focus and purpose.”
How are people treating each other in your workplace? Is there tension? Do you need help creating a more civil workplace? Call us today so we can discuss how we can help.