Education staff at Boise State and from local high schools were invited to refine their superpowers on Oct. 8 at the “Be a Boise State Superhero” event in the Student Union Building on campus.
The event was this year’s professional development day sponsored by the Boise State University Association of Office Professionals (BSUAOP).
According to Leslie Black, president of BSUAOP, a Boise State superhero is a professional staff member that goes the extra mile in their respective workplace.
“These events are an excellent way to learn better communication skills and develop public speaking expertise. These skills can help with job interviews or other workplace experiences in which you need to sell yourself or your ideas,” Black said.
The event involved workshops, panel discussions and a keynote address by Cindy Clark, the author of “Creating and Sustaining Civility in Nursing Education” and a nursing professor at Boise State. In her keynote address, Clark addressed the importance of civility in the workplace.
“We want to be ambassadors to civil workplaces and keep the conversation going about this topic,” Clark told event attendees. “Bystanders in the world of civility watch things happen and do nothing about it. As bystanders we must find our voice somehow because to stay silent is to condone incivility.”
According to Clark, uncivil behaviors can range from nonverbal cues such as eye-rolling to physically threatening and psychologically demeaning behaviors, all of which are damaging to workplace efficiency.
“Incivility can be briefly defined as an affront to human dignity and assault on self-esteem. This stuff matters because of how awful it makes us feel,” Clark said.
Clark said that it is important for organizations to not only address incivility, but also to reward civil behavior.
“We are lucky at Boise State to have a definition of civility and a statement of shared values. Every organization needs something like this. But we must also work to fulfill that mission,” Clark said.
Clark’s findings indicate an inextricable link between stress and incivility. Martha Wadley, a maintenance craftsman for Student Union Maintenance, said she was inspired by Clark’s message on how incivility can affect the entire workplace and not just individuals who are directly involved.
“One person’s uncivil behavior has a huge impact on an organization. Coming to work with joy is a real blessing.”