Civility and Success

Positive personal impact is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.  If you want to create positive personal impact you need to do three things.  1) Develop and nurture your personal brand.  2) Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  3) Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.

Recently, I came across a great little book by P M Forni, The Civility Solution:  What to Do When People Are Rude.  Being civil is a great way to create positive personal impact.  In Chapter 2 of The Civility Solution, Mr. Forni lists his “Eight Rules for a Civil Life”…

1. Slow down and be present in your life.
2. Listen to the voice of empathy.
3. Keep a positive attitude.
4. Respect others and grant them plenty of validation.
5. Disagree graciously and refrain from arguing.
6. Get to know the people around you.
7. Pay attention to the small things.
8. Ask, don’t tell.

I think these are eight great common sense rules for conducting your life and for creating positive personal impact. 

I particularly like the first rule: slow down and be present.  We are all busy.  All too often we get so busy that we ignore the people in our lives.  Last week, we had a Spring snow storm in Denver.  We got about 12 inches in town, a lot more in the mountains.  I was writing this blog post day.  As I was writing, Cathy my wife, came into my office to tell me that the snow was falling, the wind was blowing and that we had big drifts covering the window wells on the side of our house.  I interrupted her to say something like “uh-uh.”  She responded by saying, “You didn’t even let me finish.” 

Cathy was right.  I didn’t let her finish.  I was caught up in what I was writing.  The ironic point here is that I was writing an article on civility.  I violated rule 1.  I didn’t slow down.  I wasn’t present.  Instead I kept writing and listened to my wife with only one ear.  That’s not civil. 

Rule 1 can be a difficult one for me because I often get caught up in what I’m doing.  I don’t slow down and get present.  I try to multitask, which may be somewhat efficient, but is not the way to create positive personal impact.  I’m working hard on getting better at slowing down and being present in my life.

Which of these eight rules is tough for you?  What do you do to bring yourself in line with it?

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  People who create positive personal impact are civil; they know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.  Follow P M Forni’s eight rules for a civil life.  1) Slow down and be present in your life.  2) Listen to the voice of empathy. 3) Keep a positive attitude. 4) Respect others and grant them plenty of validation. 5) Disagree graciously and refrain from arguing. 6) Get to know the people around you. 7) Pay attention to the small things. 8) Ask, don’t tell.  These eight rules are a great guide for creating positive personal impact. 

That’s my take on civility and positive personal impact.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on civility and what you do to live a civil life.  As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the post, Bud.
    While I’m still working on all eight points, I find that #5, disagree graciously and refrain from arguing, is the one I find most challenging. I know this because a good friend of mine gave me a button that reads, “I’m right. You’re wrong. Deal with it.” Pretty big hint, don’t you think?!!
    I believe it was President Obama (correct me if I’m wrong) who said, “You can disagree without being disagreeable.” Words to live by.

  2. Thanks for your comment Laurie:
    I agree with you. Disagreeing graciously can be a tough one.
    I don’t know if your quote comes from President Obama, but it sure sounds like something he would say. He seems to conduct himself in that manner.
    Good luck in sticking up for yourself graciously.
    BB

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