Civility: Front & Center

What Is Civility?

“Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process.”

Civility is about more than merely being polite, although being polite is an excellent start. Civility fosters a deep self-awareness, even as it is characterized by true respect for others. Civility requires the extremely hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and perhaps fierce disagreements. It is about constantly being open to hear, to learn, to teach and to change. It seeks common ground as a beginning point for dialogue when differences occur, while at the same time recognizes that differences are enriching. It is patience, grace, and strength of character. Institute for Civility

Why is civility important? Better yet, how does it fit in to our busy, day-to-day lives?

The answer to this question has become increasingly evident as tempers flare over the health care debate, and more people experience the economic and emotional consequences of the recession. Breakdowns in civility are also becoming increasingly common in popular culture.

These breakdowns seem to highlight the importance of civility in public. But what role does civility play in our daily lives – at work. At home. At the committee meeting. In traffic…

–           How present are you during a disagreement?
–           How well do you hear?
–           Are you open to learning, teaching and changing?
–           Does a difference of opinion look like conflict, or opportunity?
–           Are you aware of what beliefs and assumptions you hold strongly?

On April 8th, we will experience a full day session learning to navigate conversation with a deeper understanding and practice of civility. Mediator and conflict resolution expert, Andy Sachs will lead us in a discussion to develop the fundamental skills toward finding common ground in difficult conversations.

If you would like to join us for this important conversation and have not registered yet, please click this link.

The session is from 8:30-4:30 at Queens Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park. The forum is being hosted by several local leadership initiatives. Details and other logistical information can be found here.

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