You are currently using an unsupported browser which could affect the appearance and functionality of this website. Please consider upgrading to the latest version or using alternatives such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

3.3 What are the benefits of improving poor behaviours?

If you have indeed displayed behaviours at work which negatively affected your colleagues or your team, then improving your behaviour will likely have wide reaching positive effects on:

  • Your enjoyment and satisfaction at work
  • Your team’s overall performance
  • The safety and care your patients receive
  • The performance and emotional wellbeing of those who were, or could have been, recipients or witnesses of poor behaviours.

Video: How incivility shuts down your brain at work – Christine Porath

Whether intentional or not, poor behaviour is a patient safety issue and has a significant impact on patient care.

There is evidence that:

  • those who experience rude behaviour towards them have a 61% reduction in their cognitive ability.1
  • those who witness the behaviour have a 20% reduction in cognition. Those who witness the behaviour are also 50% more likely to make a calculation error and 50% less likely to offer to help others.1

When dealing with accusations of bullying, organisations should aim to bring about an understanding and a change behaviour, not to blame and punish.2  However, in severe or persistent cases incidents may require escalation (involve HR, possible disciplinary action and occasionally referral to professional registration bodies).


1. Porath C, Pearson C. The price of incivility. Harv Bus Rev. 2013 Jan-Feb;91(1-2):114-21, 146