Guest post by Robyn Jackson, the owner of The Civility School, providing training and education for professionals interested in polishing their interactions as a critical part of attaining business goals.
The 2016 presidential election and its brutal build-up have brought about a surge in the business of Civility. Leaders of organizations are calling with SOS cries for help in “civilizing” their employees, their students, and themselves. They want to know if I offer a magic pill (no), a good fairy wand (no), or a lifetime guarantee (no). What I do offer, however, is something pretty darn magical, good, and guaranteed to work IF you practice it.
Your business is probably doing just fine. Your employees probably get along just fine. And your clients and customers might just say that your service is just fine as well. But if you’ve heard me speak, you’d know that “just fine” is not just fine at all. I digress, but will return to that in a moment.
Your business and its representatives deserve to be compelling, not just fine, and believe it or not, focusing on civil engagement and its practices have the power to do just that. The changes can be subtle, but they pack a punch. Back to the word fine, for example. I would immediately take that one little word out of your company’s word bank. No one would answer a howdy-do with fine,
And fine would not be the answer when rating the quality of an experience or product. Modern society, in which I would include generations of thirteen-year-old girls, has taken this word and twisted it around to sound un-fine, adolescent, and NOT compelling.
Words and their magic (for good or bad) are only a part of what professional civility entails. Learning, practicing, and being mindful of the evolving nature of facial expression, body language, gestures, cultural expectations, gender issues, and other areas of human regard will make you and your company go way beyond JUST FINE. You will be exceptional, compelling, and yes, civil.