I Aspire to be the Person My Dog Believes I Am: Civility and Incivility in the Workplace

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Dr. Benjamin Evans, president-elect of NJSNA (left) and Cynthia Clark, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN at the Institute for Nursing Research Dinner at the 114th Annual Convention

Dr. Benjamin Evans, president-elect of NJSNA (left) and Cynthia Clark, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN at the Institute for Nursing Research Dinner at the 114th Annual Convention

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—Oct. 11, 2016—Bullying takes many forms, including incivility, which are rude and disruptive behaviors or failing to take action. These actions and inactions cause psychological or physiological distress for those involved, which could lead to dangerous situations for patients as it causes issues in the workplace.

Nurses can take the lead in countering bullying and incivility in their workplaces by “aspiring to be the person my dog believes I am,” said Cynthia Clark, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, of ATI Nursing Education, who delivered the opening address of the 114th Annual New Jersey State Nurses Conference at the Institute for Nursing Research Dinner on Oct. 11 at Bally’s Atlantic City.

“Civility is about extending the courtesy, the dignity and respect each person deserves, whether we like them or not,” said Clark. “That is something that we have control over, even in our fast-paced world.”

Failing to take action when action is warranted is a form on incivility, which is cited in an American Nurses Association paper. “When we fail to speak up, when we don’t support a colleague or blow people off, when we don’t provide people with the information we need, that is a form of incivility,” she said. “When we stay silent, when we don’t advocate and when we don’t speak up (is also a form on incivility.)”

One way to combat these behaviors is to be thoughtful, inclusive and self-aware. “In order to do that it requires leadership at all levels,” Clark said. “What if we were just a thimbleful of the person our dog believes we are?”

Watch Clark’s full discussion and learn about for transforming organizational culture while creating a path for civility: https://www.facebook.com/NJStateNurses/videos/1359277400757056/

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