Throughout our work experience I am sure on at least a few occasions we have all come across “that” manager. The perhaps scary, unfair, intimidating, short-tempered so-called “leader”. The person whose “roughness” takes the shine off of an otherwise shiny, happy workplace. What piques my curiosity is how does this happen? How it is that one person can influence everyone’s experience in such a profound way. Is this a power that is taken- or given? And, to what extent do we each play a part in how comfortable everyone- even our superiors, are in the workplace?

 Is it truly one individual’s power combined with his/her character flaws that set the tone for negative workplace culture, or this a more collective process where many individuals too easily accept these flaws and/or  forfeit their own personal power? Are we victims of circumstance? Or, are we contributors- conscious or otherwise, to the mood of the workplace?

Most importantly, regardless of how it happened, can we really improve a bad workplace situation? At Civility Experts Worldwide, we believe you can. Civility is the solution. Civility in and of itself, is something that could potentially bring out the best in people? If we require that every individual in the workplace- leaders included- adopt civility as a core value, we could change the workplace. For example, civility means we do not do what we’re told if we know it’s wrong. Being civil means we would not follow rules or engage in actions that do not fit our values. Being civil means that we require our workplaces put in place guidelines for treating each other better. And civility in the workplace requires that we do not accept intimidation, lack of restraint, or unfair treatment from anyone- especially our leaders. Civility also demands that we are each accountable for our own behavior and that we take responsibility for the impact of our words, attitudes and actions on others and on the workplace.

Knowing what others need and want to be able to shine at work, and striving to be our own best self is something people who understand civility choose to do.  This includes learning the key traits that make a successful leader, applying them, and becoming an inspiration to all those we encounter in our daily journeys regardless of status, race, appearance, religion, and etcetera. Each of us has to power to polish the “rough” spots in ourselves and others and to shine like diamonds in the workplace.

Lauren Capris