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There is no room for rudeness in business

Hey, we are all busy. Some more than others, granted, but we’re all trying to earn a crust and help those who work for and with us earn theirs.

So there is no need for rudeness. There is no need for treating another professional as if they are any lower than you on the pecking order, any less important or significant than yourself.

Here are 10 things that people could do to make being in business just a little more palatable:

1. Do not judge a colleague, questioning the quality of their work, not unless you are completely blameless and 100% perfect (which is unlikely)
2. Do not listen to tittle tattle from staff, always give the subject of their ire the chance to have their say and consider both arguments equally
3. Don’t ignore phone calls and e-mails. If someone has taken the trouble to call you, leave a message or send you an e-mail, the least you should do is acknowledge their effort. “Sorry” doesn’t take more than two seconds to type and it’s better than not saying anything at all
4. Never think you can blank someone at work. We are not in the playground anymore. If you have a problem, air it
5. Never let your personal problems or your tiredness affect how you treat your colleagues or fellow professionals. It isn’t their fault if you had a terrible night or an even worse morning. If work is stressing you out, it does not give you the right to jump down someone else’s throat. You wouldn’t want them to do that to you
6. Never talk about someone in a negative way when they are out of the room but then smile at them in a friendly way when they return. Your colleagues might say they agree with you but you are simply showing them how untrustworthy and unprofessional you are
7. If you work in recruitment, either pop off a standard e-mail or, even better, a personalised one or, even better still, pick up the phone and tell the person they have not been successful in their application. In the digital world, “we have too many applications to respond to them all” just does not wash. All it says is that you cannot be bothered
8. Stop trying to score points against your colleagues. Sure, you can be competitive but putting someone down with the intention of making yourself look and feel better is simply out of order
9. Think about others when you come stomping into work in a mood and drop your bag loudly on the floor, sigh and scrape your keyboard across your desk. If you feel that way, sigh around the car park for 10 minutes and then come into work when you think you’re calm and professional enough to do your job
10. And never have a go at someone for doing something that you then do yourself over and over again. Just think how unfair that is and how unprofessional you look when you do it

Rudeness in the workplace is like abuse of health workers or violence against public transport staff. It needs to be stamped out, there is no excuse whatsoever for it and the sooner it is eradicated the better for everyone.

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Rory Baxter, owner of The Word Factory, has decades of experience as a writer, editor, and public relations practitioner.

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