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Civility in the Workplace Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Civility in the Workplace Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Civility in the Workplace Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

2 What is Workplace Incivility? Behaviors with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect. Uncivil behaviors are characteristically rude and discourteous, displaying a lack of regard for others Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

3 Why should you care about civility? Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

4 The Incivility Continuum Negative Behavior Rude comments Insensitive actions Unintentional slights Complaining Gossip/rumors Cultural bias Crude jokes Profanity Verbal Aggression Yelling / loud voice Belittling comments Intimidation / threats Discriminatory comments Cursing at someone Humiliation Physical/Sexual Aggression Assault / Battery Throwing objects Violent outbursts (e.g., hitting the wall) Inappropriate touching Harrassment Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

5 Why Choose to be Civil? One person can have a positive impact on the work environment Improved Morale Improved Productivity Improved Teamwork Being nice feels good 83% of workers report that it is “very important” to work in a civil environment (Baltimore Workplace Study, 2003) Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

6 Contributors to Incivility Long hours / overwork “Hot” temperament Workplace stress Inflexibility Passive aggression Hurt feelings Intolerance of individual differences Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

7 The Costs of Incivility Lost work time and productivity Lost employees / high turnover Decrease in feelings of teamwork Work avoidance Lowered job motivation Health costs due to stress Incivility to customers / clients Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

8 Communicating Civility Remember pleasantries No interrupting Be open-minded Say what you mean Be aware of your tone and volume Don’t argue for the sake of arguing / PICK YOUR BATTLES Be respectful, even in disagreement Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

9 Communicating Civility (cont.) Address conflicts in private when possible Be aware of your own defensiveness Depersonalize your comments Avoid accusations / ask questions instead Allow others to respond and give them your attention Consider that you could be wrong Use active listening skills Kirsten W. Schwehm, PhD / Louisiana State University

10 An Initiative Championed by the Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick

11 The 25 Principles of Considerate Conduct 1.Pay Attention 2.Acknowledge Others 3.Think the Best 4.Listen 5.Be Inclusive

12 The 25 Principles of Considerate Conduct 6.Speak Kindly 7.Don’t Speak Ill 8.Accept and Give Praise 9.Respect Even a Subtle “NO” 10.Respect Others’ Opinions

13 The 25 Principles of Considerate Conduct 11.Mind Your Body 12.Be Agreeable 13.Keep It Down (and Rediscover Silence) 14.Respect Other People’s Time 15.Respect Other People’s Space

14 The 25 Principles of Considerate Conduct 16.Apologize Earnestly 17.Assert Yourself 18.Avoid Personal Questions 19.Care for Your Guests 20.Be a Considerate Guest

15 The 25 Principles of Considerate Conduct 21.Think Twice Before Asking for Favors 22.Refrain from Idle Complaints 23.Accept and Give Constructive Criticism 24.Respect the Environment and Be Gentle to Animals 25.Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame

16 Top 10 Principles of Civility Chosen by the 2012-2013 County Teachers of the Year August/SeptemberPay Attention OctoberAcknowledge Others NovemberListen DecemberSpeak Kindly JanuaryAccept and Give Praise

17 Top 10 Principles of Civility Chosen by the 2012-2013 County Teachers of the Year FebruaryRespect Others’ Opinions MarchBe Inclusive AprilRespect Other People’s Time MayDon’t Shift Responsibility and Blame JuneApologize Earnestly

18 More information online at www.cocoschools.org/civility

19 Helpful References Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct (2002) by P.M. Forni Conflict Resolution (2001) by Daniel Dana People Styles at Work (1996) by Robert Bolton & Dorothy Grover Bolton Resolving Conflicts at Work (2005) by Kenneth Cloke & Joan Goldsmith Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace (2002) by Giovinella Gonthier Workplace Wars and How to End Them (1994) by Kenneth Kaye


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