In the intricate dance of the professional world, workplace etiquette plays a crucial role in shaping interactions and fostering a harmonious environment.
However, amidst the hustle and bustle of office life, etiquette can be misused, leading to strained relationships, diminished productivity, and toxic work culture.
Misused workplace etiquette often takes the form of passive-aggressive behaviour. Instead of addressing concerns openly and honestly, individuals may hide behind a facade of politeness while harbouring resentment or expressing their dissatisfaction through subtle jabs, backhanded compliments, or undermining remarks.
This creates a toxic atmosphere of underlying tension and erodes trust among colleagues. In some instances, individuals may use it as a means of exclusion, wielding it to create an “in-crowd” and marginalize certain individuals.
This misuse can manifest as selectively inviting only a chosen few to meetings or social events, leaving others feeling left out and undervalued.
The result is a fractured work environment that hinders collaboration and stifles innovation. This can fuel unhealthy competition and undermine teamwork.
Rather than celebrating each other’s successes, individuals may boast, one-up their colleagues, or undermine their achievements. This creates a cutthroat atmosphere that erodes camaraderie, fosters distrust, and hampers collective progress.
And in more ways than one, it can contribute to miscommunication and misunderstandings.
When individuals adhere rigidly to etiquette without considering the diverse communication styles and preferences of their colleagues, messages may be misconstrued or important details overlooked. This breakdown in effective communication can lead to errors, delays and unnecessary conflicts.