Heading Toward a Culture of Civility


Heading Toward a Culture of Civility

August 2, 2022

Raw emotions have been flying ever since political situations became public knowledge. The divisiveness has unearthed microaggressions and unhappiness across the country.

Heightened tensions continue to escalate—even at the workplace. The workplace culture has shifted and workers are more unhappy than ever before. This has additionally triggered the Great Resignation.

So how do we get back to finding our civility with one another? Here are the pertinent facts on how we can head back toward a culture of civility:

What is Civility Culture?

Civility is another word for demonstrating respect for all people and society. This additionally includes seeking forms of common ground and learning to agree to disagree, respecting all perspectives and stances.

Civility needs to be built on a foundation of:

  • Courtesy
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Kindness

In the workplace, civility requires these positive attributes. Therefore, civility created increased productivity, creativity, and performance. Hostile work environments suffocate the aforementioned.

Civility culture has seemingly been disrupted. Many blame it on the political unrest over the last several years. Our culture desperately needs to reinstate the culture of civility throughout our society.

How to Create a Culture of Civility

Teams function more efficiently when civility is practiced. Mutual respect for one another, others’ opinions, differing views, and more can create a harmonious, productive environment people want to be a part of. This can also be defined as the company culture.

To design, create, and nurture a culture of civility, the following actions must be taken:

  • Represent and reward the behavior you want practiced
  • Hire people who outwardly conduct themselves with civility
  • Educate managers, business leaders, employees, and all others on the correct way to be respectful of others and civil
  • Interview people who have left the company to determine what the reasons were
  • Embody and hold people accountable—regardless of their position in the company

Top Tips to Increase Civility

Proven top tips for increasing civility in the workplace include the following but are not limited to:

  • Listen to opposing views.
  • Seek shared values.
  • Acknowledge the legitimacy of opposing positions.
  • Identify the problem at-hand, focusing on it rather than on larger conflicts.
  • Accept that disagreement will exist without giving up your own convictions.
  • Clarify what is being said before attacking and/or responding.
  • Consider the consequences of what you say and do.
  • Hold yourself personally accountable for your own actions.

In order to nurture a culture of civility, you must promote it from the higher-ups in the organization:

Pay more attention

Being present and paying attention to what is going on around you can make all of the difference. Others will feel seen, heard, and valued when they see you are paying attention to them. If you are in a managerial position, this is especially important!

Be all-inclusive

To omit any employee for any reason is an absolute no-no. Include everyone as no one likes to feel left. If anyone feels ostracized, productivity, trust, and efficiency all decrease—and quickly. Be sure to include everyone in all departments so everyone feels a part of the team dynamic.

Acknowledge Others

If you are in a higher-up role, it is imperative to acknowledge others. When you take the time to recognize someone’s efforts and accomplishments, or simply by recalling their name, it creates a wonderful dynamic. Go out of your way to acknowledge others and they will work even harder.

Be Respectful of Others’ Decisions

If someone says ‘no’, it is vital to respect their decision. Boundaries are a healthy concept in a workplace setting. When team members interact with one another, and opinions are asked for if someone says ‘no’, it is no. This develops respect amongst all team members and embodies a sense of safety within the team.

Don’t Waste Others’ Time

There is nothing quite as frustrating as your time being wasted. Do not infer that your time as a supervisor or higher-up is more important than your employees. If you need to speak with an employee, do your best to not interrupt during their workflow. If you need to speak with someone or your team members, give enough notice to allow them to feel like their time, work, and effort are being respected.

Bottom Line

When you aim to embody and nurture a civility culture in a working environment, consistency is key. Be polite, respectful, and hold yourself accountable. Your employees look up to you; therefore, setting a healthy and civil foundation paves the path to workplace success.

Productivity, creativity, mood, and efficiency are all elevated with civility implemented throughout the workplace. Respect everyone’s time, positions, opinions, and efforts as you work together as a team.

Civil teamwork makes the dream work!

For more information on how Tom Hinton and CRI Global CAPS can help you create a Culture of Excellence in the Workplace, contact: tom@criglobal.com

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