Finding Civility with Lemons
Finding civility where none exists is not only a problem for the nation, but one I find affecting me personally. As a person who supports the win-win of civility, I’m in a situation where I’m being tossed buckets of lemons and expected to make lemonade when I can’t find limited amounts of sugar. You might be able to relate?
As I struggle with my own personal challenge, agonizing over the grief incivility can cause, I’m thinking how ironic. Here I stand, in the mist of my own practice, finding civility not to be as easy to achieve as I thought it would be in my case, and recognizing that I need to walk more in my own shoes for the sake of being a better champion for others. Oh, how I love humility!
So, after careful thought, prayer and slicing through to what matters most to me, I’ve come up with a recipe for sweet civility to try out on myself. Perhaps it will help you if you stumble into a similar situation:
- Find the right words.
- Speak as I’d like to be spoken to.
- Express love with respect for both myself and others.
- Be positive, constructive and honest.
- Avoid dragging skeletons out of the closet that have nothing to do with the problem.
- Practice humility.
- Be specific as to my concerns.
- Be a good listener.
- Show gratitude for a listening ear.
- Be prepared to live and learn from failure.
Civility isn’t necessarily born in an instant. It needs time to germinate and spread its sweetness. Those who prevail are those willing to hang in there long enough to enjoy the harvest together.
Tiffany Nielsen, President of Premier Etiquette and co author of the book Incredible Business, shows professionals, collegians and youth how to use the power of civility and etiquette to be their very best selves in business, school and social situations . Visit her website at http://www.tiffanynielsen.com to get her special report on etiquette today!
Copyright 2011 Tiffany Nielsen. All Rights Reserved. To reprint, please contact Tiffany Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission. www.tiffanyynielsen.com