Practicing Civility


Hi, everybody. This is Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series, where we answer questions from people just like you. This week’s got a great question. Me and the guys are going to weigh in on this.

“Civility seems to be a dying art. What are some ways I can keep myself in check to ensure I’m being civil?”

Any suggestions?

Johnny: Man, it goes back to respect, making sure that you’re being respectful, respecting boundaries, respecting people’s opinions. Some opinions, you must be as respectful. I’m personally speaking.


Marty: Just, I don’t really have a better– Keeping like that third eye out. Picturing how your message is going to be received by that person and just keeping an eye on your body language, your tone of voice, things like that. [crosstalk]

Mike: I have a tendency to be an over-simplifier. That’s why this show is only two to three minutes-long, but could it be as simple as manners?

Johnny: Yes.

Marty: Yes, probably.

Mike: Can we just say, “Mind your manners.” I think the big indicator is, say, “Please, say, “Thank you,” let other people go first. I am always amazed at how manners are a dying art. Be considerate, don’t interrupt, treat people kindly, those kinds of things. I’ve said this on multiple Mondays with Mike, so please don’t roll your eyes, but years ago, I watched– That wasn’t years ago. It feels like a thousand years ago, but it was probably a year ago, two years ago, I watched the documentary for Mr. Rogers, of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. In the documentary they said something I’ll never forget. They said that Mr. Rogers used to end every staff meeting with the same statement, “We need to make kindness popular again.”

Johnny: Oh, wow.

Mike: We need to make kindness popular again. The way that you keep yourself in check is, watch your body language, pay attention, mind your manners, and work to be the kindest person in the room. Work to be the person who is the most considerate, most interested and people will notice, because you’re absolutely right, civility is a dying art. The more that we do the things that are unusual now, like acknowledging another person’s viewpoint is real to them and okay, civility will start to come back. I’ll tell you what will not help civility come back, and that is if we judge the people who aren’t being civil. If we start getting judgmental and rude and nasty to the people who aren’t being civil, then we’re not being civil about the uncivil, and that just perpetuates the problem.

Mind your manners, pay attention, be the kindest person in the room, and then we’ll make kindness popular again. That’s it for today. I hope that was helpful.

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