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The Age of Rage
I appreciated the attention given to the topic of incivility (“The Age of Rage,”
April 2017). I have more than 20 years
of experience dealing with employees,
and, without a doubt, this problem has
gotten worse over the past five to eight
years. What’s most disappointing is that
we have CEOs displaying harsh emotions toward their staff. I cannot for the
life of me understand why companies
would allow that. To say that retention
and turnover are negatively affected is
Angie Smith, SHRM-SCP
Iloved this article! It was very timely and appropriate—not just in the workplace, but in society as a whole. Thanks
for highlighting the personal and professional risks of micro-aggression.
I was disappointed with “The Age of Rage.” In the section “Tensions Flare,”
the author listed a number of over-the-top
actions taken by people one might assume
to be Trump supporters. What about con-
servative speakers being shouted down at
multiple universities? What about violent
protesters throwing eggs at Trump sup-
porters? What about #resist? What about
Hillary Clinton referring to a sizable
portion of the electorate as deplorable?
What about conservatives being dubbed
misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes,
racists and fascists?
I’m certainly not trying to suggest
there are no bad apples on the right—
there are. But I would hope that articles
in HR Magazine would be more about
best practices or ways to improve our
craft than attempts to shift a reader’s
beliefs toward the left or right.
Ron Jesser, SHRM-SCP
When I saw the April cover, I was offended. It perpetuates the stereotype that a particular people are
“angry” and not civil. Therefore, I
didn’t read the contents. Even today, I
still endure thoughtless comments in the
workplace, and I feel as if I have to work
twice as hard to overcome stereotypes.
Name withheld upon request
Editor’s Note: Thanks very much for
your feedback. We strived with the April
cover not to depict any specific race, age
or gender but rather to show a generic
face representing “rage.” For that reason,
our designers integrated multiple images
of people of varying ages and ethnicities
to create the final art.
That said, perception is important—
and we heard from several people who
felt that the cover image appeared to
reinforce negative stereotypes. That was
not our intent, but we certainly take the
concern to heart and greatly appreciate
Regarding the political content in the
story, there are many examples of incivil-
ity across the political spectrum. How-
ever, we wanted to keep the instances we
described—which involved rude behav-
ior by both supporters and opponents of
President Trump—tied to the workplace
in some way. We sought to highlight that
it is the overall sense of divisiveness, and
not any one politician or political party,
that has contributed to an environment
Building Strength Through
T hanks for your article on cross- training for HR (April 2017). In my
experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Marine Corps on
active duty, I did a lot of cross-training. I
haven’t seen this approach yet at the corporate level. However, I’ve heard feedback that while some people are willing
to cross-train, others are reluctant to
share their knowledge because they are
afraid they’ll be replaced. That is just
not true. Cross-training is about being a
team player. Plus, I look at it as a way of
helping others to gain valuable experience
and skills that can enhance their resumes.
Does Mindfulness Training
Have Business Benefits?
R egarding the Point/Counterpoint article (April 2017): Of course
mindfulness would add value to business, since it improves mental clarity and
focus. Mindfulness training is a smart
addition to any wellness program as it
also promotes health.
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool. As with all training, however, the
employee needs to be open to it. A mindfulness initiative, especially, will not help
a worker who doesn’t want to accept it.
I should think a mindful leader is better than a mindless one any day!