Pretty hard to find during this polarizing election year. Everyone’s got an opinion, which is often shared, loudly and strongly.
Merriam Webster defines civility as “polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior”. Note the lack of qualifiers as to when this should occur. It doesn’t mention that you need to be civil only with those you agree with. It’s really straightforward: respectful behavior. Period. It’s global not situational.
It this easy? NO! Is it necessary? YES!
Civility is the glue that holds us all together. It emphasizes that we are all part of a larger picture. That we have more in common than not. And it’s more than good manners – it’s being respectful of others. It’s recognizing that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, even if those are different from our own.
I think most everyone would agree that a lack of civility is a growing problem. And that it’s occurring not just in the workplace but also on social media, in our homes and communities.
So, my question is: what are we going to do about it? One thing I’ve learned over the years is that I can only control my own behavior. And I am going to strive for civility in all of my dealings – even if I’m facing incivility.
It’s the only way I can help contribute to the solution rather than the problem.
I’ve included links to some free, downloadable images you might find useful. One is the quote, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” And the other is a poster showing how to be more civil.
I hope you find these useful. Those who look up to us are watching.
Now It’s Your Turn
When is it easy to be civil? Hard? How can you increase the likelihood that you will practice civility more often?