I originally created this self-test on politeness for the revision of Interpersonal Messages but later decided to use a more general (and shorter) self-test for politeness. But, I thought this one might be of use as well, especially for those who want to focus on the workplace.
How Polite Are You at Work?
Here is a list of statements that refer to polite behavior with special application to the workplace. Indicate the degree to which each statement reflects your own behavior, using the following scale: (1) always, (2) sometimes, (3) about half and half, (4) seldom, and (5) never.
_____ 1. I listen attentively to those I supervise, my peers, and my managers.
_____ 2. I avoid imposing on others.
_____ 3. I compliment others.
_____ 4. I avoid strong cologne or other smells that may prove offensive to others.
_____ 5. I avoid even the suggestion of sexual harassment.
_____ 6. I avoid any suggestion of bullying.
_____ 7. I willingly mentor those less experienced than I.
_____ 8. I help others in their networking.
_____ 9. I avoid language that may prove offensive.
_____ 10. I avoid bragging and tooting my own horn and act with appropriate modesty.
_____ 11. I ask questions that show my interest but avoid those that may appear intrusive.
_____ 12. I contribute readily to groups and teams.
_____ 13. I express positive attitudes toward others.
_____ 14. I avoid negative gossip.
_____ 15. I talk on my phone and in conversations so as not to disturb nearby workers.
_____ 16. I avoid giving advice unless it’s genuinely desired and then am constructive.
_____ 17. I am prepared for meetings.
_____ 18. I am on time for meetings and appointments.
_____ 19. I share any praise for my accomplishments with others.
_____ 20. I use appropriate communication channels.
_____ 21. I avoid spam and information overload.
_____ 22. I express appreciation when others give me feedback.
_____ 23. I dress appropriately in terms of organizational norms.
_____ 24. I respect office property.
_____ 25. I avoid stereotyping in my workplace communication.
How did you do? As you can see these characteristics of politeness are also the characteristics of effective workplace communication. Add up your scores; they should total between 25 (indicating extreme politeness) and 125 (indicating extreme impoliteness).
What will you do? Consider if any of the behaviors that you rate 3, 4, or 5 are creating problems for you. If so, how might you go about changing your behavior?