Disrespectful behavior falls after inappropriate behavior on the Johns Hopkins Continuum of Disruptive Behaviors at Work and includes rude and discourteous behavior. These behaviors are more hostile than inappropriateness, and they are usually aimed directly at another person or persons.
It is important to recognize these behaviors, and to say something if you see any of them so that they don’t escalate and cause a greater risk of disruption to faculty, staff, students, and the community. When disruptive behavior is not managed, one may push the limits and become disorderly. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System have adopted policies that call for zero tolerance of violent behavior, threats, bully, and intimidation. Johns Hopkins will not permit employment-based retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint of workplace violence or who speaks as a witness in the investigation of a complaint of workplace violence.
Specific Actions Associated with Disrespectful Behavior
A subcommittee of the Joint Risk Assessment Team developed a list of concerning behaviors as part of ongoing research on disruptive behaviors at work and early intervention and prevention of workplace violence. Examples of behavior that indicate disrespectful behavior include:
- Public humiliation
- Criticizing, ridiculing, or dismissing achievements
- Degrading an employee/coworker in front of other people
- Inappropriate sarcasm
- Speaking in a condescending or belittling way
- Swearing at another person
- Dismissive or negative gesturing when someone else is speaking
- Talking over another person; poor behavior in meetings
- Refusing to speak to another person for work purposes
- Discounting the person’s thoughts or feelings (“Oh, that’s silly”) in meetings
- Stealing credit for work done by others
Awareness means understanding that behaviors left unchecked can escalate into violence. If there is a behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it. Take action well before the point at which violence might occur. If you or someone you know is concerned about any of these behaviors, contact your supervisor or academic advisor, human resources/labor relations, Security, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, or the Workplace Risk Assessment program manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.