Research shows that workers who are exposed to rude behavior are less productive and creative, so human resources professionals should take steps to improve etiquette in the workplace -- and make sure leaders are providing a good example. "If people at the bottom are seeing lack of courtesy and respect, innuendos, arrogance, entitlement -- they think, 'That's how I need to behave to get ahead,'" says Lou Kennedy, a business-etiquette consultant.

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