Leading the coalition for change: Creating and sustaining communities of civility
Civility is showing authentic respect for others requiring time, presence, a willingness to engage in genuine discourse, and an intention to seek common ground. Ultimately, civility is a choice—a decision made every day with each encounter and interaction. Civility is showing respect for the dignity, perspectives, and well-being of others. It is not enough to be ‘merely civil’—in other words, to sit silently and politely by, or failing to act when action is warranted. True civility means choosing to engage respectfully when contrary opinions or opposing views are expressed, speaking up and supporting others, acting with an intent to promote understanding and meaningful connections. Civility helps to create work and learning environments where all members are valued and can be productive and helps foster a milieu where inclusion, diversity, and equity thrive.
This site provides a useful venue for civility ‘matters’ such as practical resources, scientific research, and innovative ideas to foster civility in workplaces and communities. Civility ‘matters’ because treating one another with respect is requisite to effective communication, community building, and finding common ground. Without civility, we miss opportunities to really listen and understand others’ points of view. Civility is not equivalent to censorship, but instead is needed to bring decorum to discourse and respect to disagreements.
Dr. Cynthia Clark
Dr. Clark is an award-wining tenured professor, professor emeritus at Boise State University, and the Founder of Civility Matters™. She is a licensed registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience in health care practice and academic settings. As a clinician, she specialized in adolescent mental health, substance abuse recovery, and suicide and violence prevention. She is a leading expert in fostering civility and healthy work environments around the globe. Her groundbreaking work on fostering civility has brought national and international attention to the controversial issues of incivility in academic and work environments. Her theory-driven interventions, empirical measurements, theoretical models, and reflective assessments provide “best practices” to prevent, measure, and address uncivil behavior and to create healthy workplaces. Her workshops and seminars are highly acclaimed, custom designed, relevant, interactive, and thoroughly engaging.
About the great blue heron image: This majestic bird is a beautiful, graceful, and noble creature representing self-determination, self-reliance, patience, presence, and the innate wisdom necessary to co-create one’s own circumstances. That is how Dr. Clark views pursuing civility. There are those among us who have the grace and nobility to speak the truth, the self-determination to transform and revolutionize the human condition, and the ability to use innate wisdom to create and sustain cultures of civility and respect.