• Sara & Colin Taylor

Civility - Part 2

"Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process." ~ Tomas Spath & Cassandra Dahnke, Founders, Institute for Civility in Government

How do we create a more civil culture? One where harassment, intimidation and bullying are replaced by respect, support and communication? Dr. Michael Kauffman wrote about the 5 fundamentals of civility - respect, self-awareness, self-care, communication and responsibility. The first four are implicit, albeit not necessarily universally practiced, but the last one, responsibility, bares some further discussion.

Being responsible includes doing such for self, others and the medical culture as a whole. This includes but is not limited to:

  • taking responsibility for our actions - i.e. "sorry for being a jerk" as opposed to "this workplace is making me a jerk"

  • taking responsibility for others - i.e. "Bill just lost a patient and looks really sad. I think I will check in on him before I leave work today" as opposed to "Bill just lost a patient and looks really sad. I'm sure he doesn't want to talk to anyone so I won't bother him"

  • taking responsibility for the medical culture - i.e. "I need to take care of myself if I want to take care of others" as opposed to "I don't have time for myself because so many patients need me".

This stuff really matters and we are just skimming the surface. We all want a more civil culture so why not start with being more civil toward ourselves.


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