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National Civility Month

Rodney Bowles / August 17, 2023
Puzzle pieces coming together

August is National Civility Month, but I like to think that it is a reminder for us all to be empathetic, kind and that we can disagree without the element of disrespect, always.

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

Whether it is in our workplace or at home, most of us have very hectic lives and of course at times very stressful. We all know how stress can negatively impact our interaction with others around us and I know it is something I often need to remember and pause before responding. The negativity resulting from disrespectful interactions with co-workers and friends can cause catastrophic results. Aside from the fact that often it can lead to irreparable damage to personal and working relationships, the impact on an organization’s bottom line is noteworthy. It is estimated that negativity created by incivility among co-workers can cost employers $14,000 per employee in lost time and productivity.

A way to help create a culture of respect and civility is to express your appreciation, especially if they emphasize being a role model, treating people well, with respect, and living the organization’s values.

At Toshiba our values are a critical component of how we do business both internally with our co-workers and externally with our customers and in the communities where we live.

Three of our seven corporate values in support of civility and respect stress acting responsibly, embracing diversity and empowering others.

-Act Responsibly
We uphold the highest standards of social, environmental, and ethical responsibility.
-Embrace Diversity
We believe that diversity of people, thought and experience brings greater value.
-Empower Others
We continuously aim to impact our colleagues and clients in positive and supportive ways.

Below are some ways you may find helpful in promoting civility in the workplace:

Pay Attention
Simply being observant and considerate can go a long way toward making others feel valued and appreciated.  Have an awareness of what those around you may be going through, especially if you’re a manager or supervisor.

Acknowledge Other People
Make time to recognize others, whether by remembering someone’s name or congratulating a team member, and always be mindful of when you have a reason to thank someone. A great way to do this is through personal handwritten notes or cards.

Be Inclusive
No one likes to be left out. If you realize you’ve unintentionally excluded someone, be honest about your mistake and apologize. Everyone deserves to feel welcome and part of the team.

Be Respectful of Others’ Time
Be careful not to send the message that your time is more important. A common mistake is demanding immediate attention by showing up or calling unannounced. Always make it safe and possible for the other person to pick a better time. Also be aware of how you manage your time and avoid creating emergencies for others.

National Civility Month reminds us to always lead with principles of kindness, empathy, and understanding. By embracing the celebration of civility, you have the power to make a positive impact in your organization and contribute to a more welcoming and productive work environment.