This past weekend, my husband and I were sitting comfortably outside a coffee shop in a four-person seating area. There was a man sitting in one of the seats. We coexisted well. My husband and I spoke quietly, aware of his presence. Then, another man came and took the fourth seat. He made several calls and was quite loud, causing the other man to walk away. When we left the area, I saw the first man sitting alone nearby.
This got me to thinking that we may all benefit by establishing “silence areas” for those who want to use them. What if there was a silence area in every workplace that anyone could use? Silence areas could go far, promoting balance, providing space to think, providing space to center and serving as a getaway when you need some peace. They wouldn’t be hard to establish and could do some good. Would you use a silence area?
photo: geralt, pixabay.com
Who wrote the law that says it is acceptable to disregard a person’s space in the workplace? You would think such a law exists by the way people do it. We all have the right to be treated with respect and have our privacy honored.
Disregarding someone’s space can involve aggressive or angry behavior, taking no notice of a person’s feelings, demeaning them, intruding on their privacy, physical closeness that makes the person uncomfortable or showing disrespect. These actions are not essential to a productive workplace. When they do happen, productivity is diminished.
As a manager, you can model this respect for a person’s space. If your organization’s culture excuses bad behavior, make sure you do not. Talk with your team about emotional intelligence, diversity, the dignity of each person and what it means to respect each other.
Respecting each person’s space creates harmony, understanding, motivation and fruitful collaboration for your team.
photo: AlainLacroix, Dreamstime.com