Price Talks: The Little Book of Price Psychology

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And it looks like sh— in your hands.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

He took a risk and reported Larry to HR. Three days after that, Matt had a heart attack.

Pricing Strategies: 13 Articles You Need to Read

The only positive aspect was that their shared dislike helped the employees forge close bonds. After the company died, in the late s, its alums formed a network that thrives to this day. In some cases an entire department is infected. Jennifer worked in an industry that attracted large numbers of educated young professionals willing to work for a pittance in order to be in a creative field. It was widely accepted that they had to pay their dues. Fran was a senior executive in a global consumer products company.

After several quarters of outstanding growth despite a down economy, she found herself confronted by a newcomer in the C-suite, Joe.


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For six months Fran had to jump through hoops to defend the business, even though it had defied stagnation. Incivility can take much more subtle forms, and it is often prompted by thoughtlessness rather than actual malice.


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Such relatively minor acts can be even more insidious than overt bullying, because they are less obvious and easier to overlook—yet they add up, eroding engagement and morale. Many managers would say that incivility is wrong, but not all recognize that it has tangible costs. Experiments and other reports offer additional insights about the effects of incivility. Here are some examples of what can happen. Survey results and interviews indicate that simply witnessing incivility has negative consequences. Public rudeness among employees is common, according to our survey of consumers.

In one experiment, half the participants witnessed a supposed bank representative publicly reprimanding another for incorrectly presenting credit card information. HR professionals say that just one incident can soak up weeks of attention and effort. And costs soar, of course, when consultants or attorneys must be brought in to help settle a situation. Managers at Fortune 1, firms spend the equivalent of seven weeks a year dealing with the aftermath of incivility. It can take constant vigilance to keep the workplace civil; otherwise, rudeness tends to creep into everyday interactions.

Managers can use several strategies to keep their own behavior in check and to foster civility among others. Leaders set the tone, so you need to be aware of your actions and of how you come across to others. So turn off your iPhone during meetings, pay attention to questions, and follow up on promises. During his tenure as president and CEO, he sent more than 30, handwritten notes of thanks to employees.

You may need a reality check from the people who work for you. He learned that it really bothered them when he glanced at his phone or responded to e-mail during meetings. He now refrains from those activities, and his team appreciates the change. As Josef, an IT professional, learned more about incivility, he became aware of his tendency to disparage a few nasty colleagues behind their backs. Within a short time Josef noticed that he was logging fewer occasions when he gossiped negatively and that he felt better about himself and his workplace.

I think that speaking up when colleagues or subordinates are rude can really make a difference. It puts them on alert that somebody is watching and cares how everyone is treated. Monitoring and adjusting your own behavior is an important piece of the puzzle, but you need to take action across the company as well.

Avoid bringing incivility into the workplace to begin with. Some companies, including Southwest Airlines and Four Seasons, put civility at the fore when they interview applicants. Rhapsody, an online subscription music service, conducts group interviews so that employees can evaluate potential teammates.

1. The Social Animal

It has been known to turn down applicants who are strong on paper but make the team uncomfortable in some way. In one case, a team considering two applicants felt that the apparently stronger one lacked emotional intelligence: She talked too much and seemed unwilling to listen. So the company hired the other candidate, who has worked out very well.

Some of these guidelines are useful, but many are outdated, and most are not transferable from one culture to another. We suggest a more universal approach. Simply put, the key is civility.

Learning how to read behavior and to react respectfully across cultures has tremendous payoffs. The same skill set applies wherever in the world your business takes you. Read about it in your favorite genre—history, biography, fiction, international newspapers, and so on. Watch movies set in the locale. Ask people familiar with the culture for briefings. Intent goes a long way, and most people will be able to decipher your intentions quickly, even across cultures. Practice greater patience with others and with yourself.

Suspend judgment of anything or anyone for as long as you can. Put your senses on alert: Listen and observe more carefully. Focus not only on what you hear and see, but also on the context of words and actions. Even significant faux pas are usually forgiven if accompanied by sincere expressions of goodwill.

One way to show that you mean well is to attempt a few words in the local language. One hospital had a near miss when bringing on a new radiologist. It offered the job to Dirk, a talented doctor who came highly recommended by his peers and had aced the interviews. But one assistant in the department had a hunch that something was off. Through a network of personal contacts, she learned that Dirk had left a number of badly treated subordinates in his wake—information that would never have surfaced from his CV. So the department head nixed the hire, telling Dirk that if he accepted the offer, the hospital would let him go right away, which would raise a flag for potential employers.

People can learn civility on the job.

Psychological Pricing: An Enormous List of Tactics

Role-playing is one technique. Some organizations offer classes on managing the generation mix, in which they talk about differences in norms of civility and how to improve behavior across generations. Video can be a good teaching tool, especially when paired with coaching. Film employees during various interactions so that they can observe their own facial expressions, posture, words, and tone of voice. It takes people a while to learn to ignore the camera, but eventually they resume their normal patterns of behavior.

We recommend that after being taped, people watch the video in three modes: first, with both sound and image, to get an overall sense of their demeanor; second, without sound, to focus on nonverbal behaviors such as gestures, distancing, and facial expressions; and third, with only sound, to highlight tone of voice, volume and speed of speech, and word choice. Start a dialogue with your team about expectations. By the end of the first meeting, the team had produced and taken ownership of concrete norms for civility, such as arriving on time and ignoring e-mail during meetings.

In our world, incivility can flare up during presentations, because overly zealous professors may vigorously interrogate colleagues and visiting professors in an effort to demonstrate their own intellect. Ochsner has seen greater patient satisfaction and an increase in patient referrals as a result. Join us with Karen Haller in conversation with Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director of Dulux, to discover how to unlock the inherent power of colour and the ways it can be used to positively transform our lives. The Little Book of Colour is the first of its kind to illuminate the science, psychology, and emotional significance of colour together with practical tools, tips and exercises to help you rediscover meaning in everything you do through the joy of colour.