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Leading with civility: Part 2 of 4

Oct 28, 2021

(Over the next two months, I’ll be sharing a series of posts on the topic of civility.)

In the last post, we established the importance of workplace civility, especially in the clinical setting.

I recall in my clinical clerkship days (some three decades ago) we student interns were nicknamed EBUs—Ego-Building Units. It seemed everyone from the staff physician to the residents, nurses, and even janitors could somehow stomp on our fragile, ignorant selves to help themselves feel better.

Self-pity aside, it‘s high time that we as medical leaders reshaped our work culture that might otherwise be marked as top-down, cold, unforgiving, or even toxic.

Without rewriting policies and protocols, a simple step to foster civility is to practice valuing and appreciating your team members, regardless of their rankings:

Value their:

  • Work—respect the wisdom of those who are closest to the specific portion of the work
  • Roles—appreciate the importance of everyone’s unique contribution, no matter how big or small they may seem.
  • Time—consistently honour their most precious resource, aka being punctual!
  • Skills—demonstrate that you trust them and their ability to get the job done
  • Humanity—connect personally, recognizing their effort openly, and show grace when they underperform. Every mistake or error is a great learning opportunity!
    Remember: “We are defined by how we treat each other”.

How will your team be defined?