A Call for Civility: The Power of the Human Potential and Thoughtfulness

A New Year ... a new decade ... our country's 400th birthday AND an election year!

This should be a time of celebrating our country's many achievements and anticipating an amazing future for our nation, our businesses and families. Instead, the discord and disharmony that has befallen our nation is palpable and downright distressing. We are clearly not "In Pursuit of Excellence" or anywhere near a state of "Domestic Tranquility" as written in our Constitution's Preamble. Far from it. Amidst our nasty divisive political climate, record immigration influx, an unprecedented global economy and dazzling high-tech toys designed to connect us, we have never been more divided, disorderly, disrespectful or disconnected.

Reality check. It's time: to acknowledge what is happening to us as a country and as individuals, in our own families and at our dinner tables, in our workplaces and neighborhoods, sports arenas and playgrounds and know that we need to make conscious adjustments in attitude, conduct and behavior. The way we treat and respond to each other needs to be brought back to the conversationThis is a critical moment in time when it could go either way. Each of us has the ability and responsibility to assert the 'warrior within' and speak up respectfully, responding to an injustice. ... and it's going to take an uprising. Don't expect someone else to do it.For while we cannot change others, I am here to make the case that we have the ability and responsibility to change and discipline ourselves to positively impact others - socially and in business, every day.

A return to civility and respectful behavior today is possible and we will give you a few actionable behaviors with which you can walk away and begin to make a difference right away.Each of us has unique gifts and talents and we are expected to contribute these talents to help make and leave this planet better than when we came. Consider how you can use your unique gifts not just in your work but in your relationships. The secret is authentic relationships and building a system which invites others into your realm to rise above the fray and lead with purpose, integrity, character, care and concern for the best, and the least of us.

Human beings have a burning desire to achieve that which is good and whole. You can only "Be Best" at your job and with others when you are whole. Balance in your life is essential to being whole, allowing you to execute at your personal best. Extending purposeful gestures of kindness in thought, word or deed demonstrates respect, speaks volumes about you while forging deep personal connections.Thoughtfulness is that je ne sais quoi rare, intangible quality of unusual dignity that requires discipline and sometimes restraint. Demonstrating kindness day in and day out to neutralize the dismal things and dreary people that threaten to drag you down makes a difference.

Be a person of true substance - heart and mind - at home and work. This is a dying art and opportunities abound at every turn.Make others both plain and privileged and at all levels, feel valued. Make it about them. Shift the spotlight. Pay it forward... buy them a coffee or pay their toll... it always comes back to you. Hand-written notes, limericks, photos, even wearing something special to acknowledge another is thoughtful. Extend a compliment. Ask genuinely how someone is feeling. Learn, use and remember others' personal preferences - their favorite musical, flower, color, restaurant, author... cocktail! Endeavor to personalize everything you do. Be a positive force at work and in your travels and orchestrate positive, thoughtful actions. Your efforts will be manifest in a positive work environment and morale! *Be sure to acknowledge any kindness with a smile, a body language gesture, an email, card, photo or personal note. Today, more than ever before, employees want to feel appreciated, supported, involved. Tell others you appreciate them. Build a sense of community and team spirit and acknowledge contributions.

Explore common interests and synergies. When colleagues demonstrate support, camaraderie and concern for the well-being of others, their self-worth, team spirit and sense of community are reinforced.

  • - Say a simple "thank-you".
  • - Send an e-card or note recognizing performance.
  • - Give credit to those who have introduced great ideas, shown innovation, completed special projects.
  • - Provide public positive reinforcement.
  • - Read letters, notes, accolades at company meetings to recognize achievements.
  • - Thoughtfulness is contagious, always appreciated and does come back to you.

Being thoughtful and actionable is a necessity today. We have a responsibility to step up, be a 'warrior' to help restore and re-engage the rules of social conduct by extending purposeful acts of kindness. Try it and watch the results in terms of quality work performance, team camaraderie and personal connections. Extend yourself in selfless ways and bask in the positive, contagious results.