A Book Is Born!

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 1.41.02 PMThrilled. Excited. Curious. These are some of my feelings as my new book has become a reality. A year ago, many of you weighed in enthusiastically to help choose the best title (thanks again). And now it is here! It has arrived!

The release of Trust Your Canary: Every Leader’s Guide to Taming Workplace Incivility is the pinnacle of an already big year for us at Bar-David Consulting. It is the ultimate piece that rounds off the Respect-on-the-Go™ toolkits and the Trust Your Canary Team Civility Booster™ program that we launched in March of this year.

With these three resources I attempt to address a fundamental need in today’s organizations: we can use more civility. It’s good for people and it’s good for business.

In the past two weeks alone, there have been a number of important radio and print pieces written about workplace incivility, including a superb piece in the New York Times on its impact on key performance indicators penned by a lead researcher whose work I rely on in our workshops and in the book. I’m delighted and gratified to say the civility cause is gaining momentum!

So here’s the skinny about the book: with wonderful endorsements from global experts, it offers leaders cutting-edge information on the nature and impact of workplace incivility and a plethora of in-depth strategies, right down to the granular level of what to say (and how) and traps to avoid. As is my style, the book is written in a straight-up, challenging, and compassionate tone.

My vision is that people will use this book and the civility tools independent of external experts (myself included). I imagine myself in joyful retirement, sipping on a frothy cappuccino overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany while the various resources I’ve created continue to change lives. Each component has different purposes — use them as stand-alones or to complement each other for even more powerful results:

  • The Respect-on-the-Go™ toolkits bring to you a set of vibrant cards jam-packed with more than 200 practical tips and cues for personal and organizational use.
  • The Trust Your Canary Team Civility Booster™ offers an intensive program for boosting civility on specific teams via thoughtful discussions assisted by videos.
  • And the book — well, you already know.

Trust Your Canary: Every Leader’s Guide to Taming Workplace Incivility is available on amazon.ca, amazon.com, and on the chapters.indigo site. An ebook version will be out shortly. To order five or more copies, please contact me directly and we will arrange a discount and quicker shipping.

I would love your support in helping build the book’s credibility: please do write a review on Amazon. Even if you have not read the book yet, a comment on Amazon regarding the value of Bar-David Consulting’s work will be hugely helpful, too. I will be eternally grateful.

Finally, stay tuned! In the early fall, you will all be invited to a virtual book launch. We’ll chat live on Google Hangouts about civility, the workplace, the book, and who knows what else.

And now, I’m happy to share a short excerpt below, from the strategy called Mind the Broken Windows. Enjoy, and “see” you again in late August!


Personal Barriers to Minding the Window

If you have refrained from taking action to deal with incivility, there must have been good reasons to do so. Or at least, you persuaded yourself that the reasons were sufficiently strong to keep you from taking meaningful action; you spared yourself the effort, thought and courage that would be required. Truth is, sometimes there are indeed viable reasons to avoid action. And when your own boss is uncivil or senior management sets a bad example, or there’s no David Morrison–esque commitment to minding windows at the top, the task is that much harder. But much of the time, the obstacles to minding the windows lie within your own mind and heart.

Following are some common thoughts and ideas that prevent leaders like you from seeing that the window is broken in the first place, or from recognizing that it’s your job to fix it. Earlier we looked at leaders’ omissions and mistakes from a broader perspective, and here I invite you to take a closer look and begin considering: Which of the thoughts described below have you personally experienced? How did these thoughts affect your decisions about taking action (or not) to mind the civility windows?

■  This behavior isn’t really that serious.

■  As long as the customer doesn’t see this, no real damage is done.

■  These problems are engrained in the culture—they can’t be changed.

■  I can’t change this alone.

■  Things will sort themselves out.

■  It’s always been like this.

■  This environment is significantly more respectful than my previous workplace.

■  If I begin intervening, who knows what else I will discover?

■  Doing something about it will demand too much of my already 
overloaded time.

■  The person (or persons) behaving uncivilly is (are) too powerful for me to take on.

If you are to adopt a Mind the Windows approach to incivility, exploring your own beliefs and reasons for denying that the behavior exists or that you need to deal with it is a great place to start changing yourself—and the environment upon which you have influence.


Contact me directly if you’d like to step up to the plate and get your own copies of the book or civility programs to help do so, anytime. 

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