Celebrating Civility

By | 2017-01-13T13:42:26+00:00 August 13th, 2009|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: |4 Comments

Did you know August is “Win with Civility” month? Well, neither did I until I stumbled on this informative blog post on the importance of workplace civility initiatives.

Apparently civility, like respect in the workplace or lack of it, is a hot issue nowadays. Recently, while listening to the morning show of a local radio station, my ears perked up when the announcers asked listeners what their biggest pet peeves of co-workers were.  The phone lines were ablaze with listeners calling in to tell tales of co-workers gone awry. Everything from fellow employees clipping fingernails in the office and leaving them in common areas to the more obvious gossipers and backstabbers were mentioned.

But what about those co-workers who are actually respectful and civil at work? I think they should get as much or even more air time than those behaving badly, so I did a little online sleuthing and found the following resources for celebrating civility.

The Civility Project

Take the civility pledge by agreeing to:

  • Be civil in my public discourse and behavior
  • Be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them.
  • Stand against incivility when I see it.

Choose Civility

Nominate someone in Howard County, MD for the Choose Civility Awards that: “Recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals that model civility in their daily lives; and whose actions and behavior set an example, raise the standards of civility, and make a sustainable positive impact.”

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About the Author:

Melanie Sklarz
Melanie Sklarz was the the web content and social media coordinator as well as the lead blog writer for the RespectfulWorkplace.com website. She has a MA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. For more information, visit melaniesklarz.com.


  1. Erica Pinsky August 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I took the pledge and will share this resource. Respect and civility really do go hand in hand, so promotion of one serves to promote the other.

  2. Melanie Sklarz August 14, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Erica, you are more than welcome. Thanks for reading and sharing your insights. They are always much appreciated!

  3. Ji Hyun Lee August 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I must admit that I do a lot of writing about the “bad” coworkers/bosses for my office politics column. Now I’m inspired write abt the forgotten folks– the model bosses and coworkers who don’t get nearly enough attention.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention Melanie.

  4. Chetan Borkhetaria August 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Wow, I’m a little taken aback. Do we as a professional society really have problems with civility? The idealistic part of me is shaking my head on this one. But the realistic part of me is retoring, “duh, if you agree that there are all different kinds of people, then of course you’ll find incivility inside the workplace, outside the workplace, everywhere.”

    And of course if there’s enough people with a similar voice AGAINST incivility, there will be a movement FOR civility. Although I’m glad to see this as a push to influence the norm to the posiitve, I’m not sure we’re all looking in the right place for the answer to this one. Where does incivility come from? What contributes to it? What other norms allow people to be uncivil in the first place?

    And furthermore, is reducing incivility even the right answer?? What about increasing the threshold for tolerating inevitable incivility?

    I saw a couple of men crossing the street in Chicago yesterday, not bothering to use a cross walk. They were walking slowly and diagonally across a one-way 3-lane road in the city, while traffic was still coming! A cab gave them a honk just as I would have, and for the next 30 seconds until the cab was out of site, the men were shouting expletives from the busy sidewalk at the cab (who I’m sure couldn’t even hear them!) What incivility!

    Do we seek to change their behavior? (the looked like less educated-type folks, so good luck with that!) Do we influence the public around them to squash such incivil behavior? (as our numbers in groups get larger, our apathy grows) Or do we make a push for just tolerating it? (which is basically our current default)

    I don’t really know… I just like asking the questions. What does everyone else think?

    -Chetan Borkhetaria
    OD Consultant

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