11/1/18 Controversy with Civility Curriculum Session

Submitted by JHilsher on Thu, 11/29/2018 - 13:22
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By Amanda Zambrano: It is no secret that, as a society, we’ve forgotten how to disagree with someone and remain civil. As such, I came into our curriculum day on Controversy with Civility with both apprehension and excitement. I can’t imagine a more timely discussion, and I was so delighted to hear Phyllis Gaerte speak on such an important topic. Within the Social Change Model, Controversy with Civility recognizes two fundamental realities of any creative group effort: one, that differences in viewpoint are inevitable and, two, that such differences must be aired openly but with civility. As a cohort, we spent time discovering the difference between controversy and conflict, and we explored at length how different work environments deal with one or the other. After enjoying a good laugh at a clip from the hit sitcom The Office, we identified some ways in which we can foster work and team environments that can benefit from controversy. We found that respect for others, regardless of their opinions, was key, along with developing comfort with uncertainty and a willingness to actively listen. We all left inspired to bring more civility to our respective workplace discussions, and to promote lively and productive workspaces.