It should not come as a surprise that some of the most important things in life are the most basic. Civility is one of those things that is essential to maintaining and building great relationships with others but is often cast aside for the sake of attaining goals at the expense of those relationships. In this conversation, Anthony talks with Christine Porath, author of the new book “Mastering Civility.” Her insights into the human condition and the things that drive us to be not only uncivil but downright petty reveal the foundational things that we need to come to grips with in order to begin building healthy company cultures rather than toxic ones.
The fundamentals of civility are so basic but also so seldom done
No one would argue against civility being one of the foundational practices that undergird healthy human relationships. Yet, it is one of the things that is most quickly cast aside when it comes to dealing with others in hierarchical structures like companies and chains of command. Christine Porath is convinced that a return to civility will enable toxic cultures to be made healthy and poor performing teams be made into record-breakers. This conversation is full of insight so be sure you take the time to listen.
Learning to listen is one of the best ways to chip away at a toxic culture
All of us have a cell phone. We leave it sitting on the desk during meetings and we even take it to the bathroom with us. We think of it as a tool but it often becomes a distraction that keeps us from truly listening to the people we meet face-to-face every day. Christine Porath points out how new habits – like removing our cell phone from the desk – can help us listen in ways that begin to chip away at the toxic cultures within our companies and organizations. Find out how Kristine suggest we go about making these kinds of fundamental changes, on this episode of in the arena.
Connection has to come first before effective leadership can happen
Effective leadership is a goal for most CEOs and managers, but it can seem very elusive and difficult to attain. Christine Porath says that effective leadership hinges on personal connection much more than it does leadership techniques or principles. Her conviction is that those who learn to connect with the people they lead will be much more effective in their leadership, and research is bearing out that conviction. Christine shares basic steps toward greater connection with the people around us in this conversation with Anthony.
Why we don’t give others the benefit of the doubt but always give ourselves the benefit of the doubt
You may or may not have noticed it, but one of the behaviors that almost every human being is guilty of is giving the benefit of the doubt to ourselves but not giving the benefit of the doubt to others. At the tail end of this conversation, Anthony and his guest, Christine Porath talk about how to overcome the unconscious stereotypes and judgments we make about people without knowing all the facts, and the benefits that a “benefit of the doubt” mindset can have in building a company culture that is sympathetic and supportive of the people in it.
Outline of this great episode
- Why Anthony invited Christine to be on the show to talk about her book, “Mastering Civility”
- The personal experiences that pushed Christine to write about civility
- What makes for a toxic work environment and what impact does it have?
- Everyone is watching the leader to know how to behave within the organization
- The fundamentals of civility that are basic, but not done
- How warmth and competence are foundational to leading people
- Judge not: What it means to overcome your own biases and how it increases civility
- Why we assume people do not have good intention and what we should do instead
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- Christine’s website – take your own civility quiz
- Christine’s book: Mastering Civility
- BOOK: The Cost of Bad Behavior
- Google’s research on psychological safety
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud