Workplace and Civility

As we rush headlong into the spring 2016 semester, we begin a campus-wide focus on promoting values to improve Ivy Tech as a place to work and grow. To start off the year, we will be focusing on, as Jane Janovyak of Change Action Northeast puts it, “civility and the traits of being neighborly and encouraging.” Let’s take a few moments to think of what civility means here at Ivy Tech, and what we can all do to promote this value.

First things first: just what is civility? We seem to recognize right away when someone is being uncivil, but it can be harder to narrow down exactly what embodies this big concept. P. M. Forni, the author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules for Considerate Conduct defines civility by four qualities which it satisfies:

-Civility is complex

-Civility is good

-Whatever civility might be, it has to do with courtesy, politeness, and good manners

-Civility belongs in the realm of ethics

When reading more about Forni’s thoughts on civility, it becomes clear that this big idea of civility is not simply a checklist of dos and don’ts, or a handful of behaviors to adopt. The actions and behaviors of people who practice civility are certainly something to discuss and emulate, but the broader sense is that civility is about a constant sense of awareness about your own behavior and how it affects everything around you, both the people you interact with and the environment you inhabit. As Forni puts it, “Being civil means being constantly aware of others and weaving restraint, respect, and considerations into the very fabric of this awareness.” Civility, then, is not merely avoiding things that are considered uncivil, but actively aspiring to be well mannered.

One excellent article that is especially germane to everyone here at Ivy Tech is Alexander Popovics’ “Civility on Community College Campuses: A Shared Responsibility.” This article is available through the Humanities International Complete database, a part of EBSCO, and was originally published in the College Student Journal. One interesting distinction that Popovics makes via author Judy Rootskool is the difference between etiquette and civility. Civility is the underlying respect that informs behaviors like good etiquette. Civility may start to seem like an abstract concept, floating out there in the æther, but Popovics is very practical about the process of improving campus civility. He queries, “So do actions speak louder than words when we speak of civility and respect? The correct answer is that words combined with actions speak the loudest. And we need to speak loudly.” Popovics speaks to the need for a campus-wide initiative to really improve the level of civility in campus interactions.

As much as we focus on promoting civility, the value of civility stands out the most when we are confronted by the lack of it. An article entitled “Tit for Tat? The Spiraling Effect of Incivility in the Workplace” that is available through JSTOR addresses the true dangers of allowing incivility to perpetuate. Though incivility can be as simple as not cleaning up after yourself, neglecting to say thank you, or adopting a brusque tone, it can lead to larger problems such as verbal aggression, violence, and other antisocial behavior. Another article that is available through Proquest shows a link between incivility in the workplace and a negative impact on productivity. From a psychological perspective, Paul Jiménez demonstrates in his article “Workplace Incivility and Its Effects on Value Congruence, Recovery-Stress-State and the Intention to Quit” that a lack of civility can cause employees to look for other work, and keeps employees from uniting around positive values. There are very real consequences to allowing incivility to perpetuate within the workplace, and this is all the more reason to foster civility in its place.

Have I been civil today? Was there a time when my behavior could have been seen as rude? Could I have done more to make everyone around me more comfortable? Civility is not something that can be switched on instantly, but it is something at which we can try to be a little better each day. If you have an interaction that you walk away from with that slight “off” feeling, take a moment to examine what could have gone better. Even if it was the result of someone acting uncivil toward you, was there anything you could have done to improve the situation? Most of all, talk with your coworkers. Improving civility is a collaborative project, and only by engaging with others can we truly make strides toward civility. Hopefully this has been something to keep in mind as we all strive to make Ivy Tech a better place to work, live, and learn. (By Library Clerk, David Winn)

New Books

These are just a few new titles. For more check out our daily updating New Books wall display in the Library.

Smart but Scattered Guide to Success: How to Use Your Brain’s Executive Skills to Keep Up, Stay Calm, and Get Organized at Work and at Home
Author: Peg Dawson
Call #: BF637.S4 D389 2016
From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone
Author: Paul B. Thompson
Call #: BJ52.5 .T54 2015
Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rule of Considerate Conduct
Author: P. M. Forni
Call #: BJ1853 .F595 2002b
Terrorism Unjustified: The Use and Misuse of Political Violence
Author: Medina, Vincente
Call #: HV6431 .M43367 2015
The Virtues of Captain America: Modern-day Lessons on Character from a World War II Superhero
Author: Mark D. White
Call #: PN6728.C35 W48 2014
How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction
Author: Beth Shapiro
Call #: QL88 .S49 2015
Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD
Author: Thomas E. Brown
Call #: RJ506.H9 B7654 2014
The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality After the History of Philosophy
Author: Naomi Zack
Call #: HT1523 .Z33 2015
May I Quote You on That? A Guide to Grammar & Usage
Author: Stephen Spector
Call #: PE1460 .S73 2015
Project Animal Farm: An Accidental Journey into the Secret World of Farming and the Truth about Our Food
Author: Sonia Faruqi
Call #: SF140.L58 F37 2015

Emergency Medical Technician – 27 DVDs

27-part Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) series features realistic scenarios and professional EMT’s who demonstrate treatment skills for various medical and trauma related emergencies. Clearly defined training objectives combined with high-quality video and 3-D graphics create powerful and engaging training tools that help meet national, state and local training requirements for EMS personnel.

These programs support current popular EMS text books and were developed using the most recent and accepted emergency care protocols, including the Department of Transportations’ National EMS Education Standards, NREMT skills and relevant OSHA and NFPA standards. Content and course oversight was also provided by a program committee of highly qualified Doctors, EMS educators, pre-hospital care providers.

All ATS on-line interactive EMT courses are CECBEMS (Continuing Education Coordinating Board for EMS) approved and accepted by the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT), as well as in most states.

Introducing the Library Catalog Kiosk!

The Ivy Tech Northeast Library is happy to announce that we now have a Library Catalog Kiosk. You can now browse the library catalog without having to log into a computer terminal. With an easy touch screen interface, this device makes it easier than ever to find what you need on the fly. Best of all, it’s located right alongside a majority of our collection allowing easy access to both the shelves and the library catalog. If you are new to navigating our catalog system, any of the library employees will be happy to assist you in how to search the catalog, and how to get the most useful results when doing so.

Back From Madness – The Struggle For Sanity on DVD

Follows four psychiatric patients for one to two years, from the time they arrive at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, and contextualizes their present-day treatments with rare archival footage demonstrating how their conditions were treated in the past. On one level, the program examines what psychiatric treatment is like today at one of the world’s most famous hospitals. Beyond this, the program is about the patients themselves, and the inner strength that is required of them as they search for some relief from the severe mental illnesses they are coping with–schizophrenia, manic-depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal depression.