If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that civility is a keen interest of mine. I’ve blogged about it, written a book on it (which I’m revising and expanding), and I do my best to live it out.
Practicing civility might be a new thing for you, as it was for me several years ago. Like any change worth making, one can get flooded with information on how to make the intended change a reality. This is great, but sometimes a wave of information can leave us overwhelmed and maybe even a bit disoriented. In those moments, it’s easy to relapse to old habits.
I’ve found that in between and in addition to waves of new information, I need small tips and reminders to keep me on track. With that in mind, I’ll begin posting a “Civility Tip of the Week”. I’ll choose one from a variety of sources, but I’d also love to get tips from you! If you have a civility tip you’d like me to share, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I use your tip, I’ll give you a shout out on the blog!
Okay, here’s the first tip for 2019:
Assume the person you’re listening to has something of value to say.
Yes, even if they’re different. Yes, even if you disagree with them. I’ve found that if I deliberately listen for something valuable, I’ll hear it.
source: Return to Civility, by John Sweeny