What “Manners” Most: Civility, Courtesy, Common Sense

By Cindy O’Connell & Dr. Susan Fell

Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.

-Peter Drucker

As the quote suggests, the responsibility for civility in the workplace falls squarely on managers. People skills employed by managers to communicate and develop an atmosphere of mutual respect which values and respects the contribution of all members are often more important than technical competency. Sound strangely familiar?

So why are we writing this column? In today’s caustic political milieu, where reality-television mindset shouting, name-calling and bad behavior is de rigueur, we prefer to lay out a different path. We hope to provide a positive long view of how civil discourse, appropriate manners and common-sense courtesy can improve the way we communicate, administer and work. We will use as a guide George Washington’s Rules of Civility, (a coffee table favorite) by John t. Phillips II which was originally composed from George Washington’s manuscript (MS) version, circa 1745.

Our collective decades of personal and professional experiences will be included as anecdotal comment along our – What “Manners” Most journey. We hope you leave our column understanding that civility and courteous behavior can translate to a happier and more industrious life. Plus, many of the best examples of kindness to humanity can be found right in our own backyard.

We welcome your contributions in this discourse as we share ways where civility, courtesy and common sense have been duly applied in What “Manners” Most.

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