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How to Stay Civil – Run in Your Own Lane!

Whew! I am just about worn out with all of the incivility on both sides of the aisle in my country. My Dad did not fight in 3 wars so we could fight at home… he fought so we could have PEACE at home. 

I say, let it begin with me! Rather that criticize and complain about my country that is in an indisputable mess, I am doing some soul-searching to find out how to be a part of the solution rather than perpetuate the glaring problems. But how is this objective reached? For me, it is a two-step process. It is by “running in my own lane” and keeping my thoughts and words within the boundaries of being civil. Who knows, I may even go overboard and actually be kind!!!

Image result for images of runners

So what does it mean to be civil? Well. the synonyms are words like respectful, gracious, and polite. Will I speak up? Yes! Will I be in action? Yes! However, I can fulfill my purpose and run in my own lane in a civil way. Of course. I want to stay aware and informed. However,  I can’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I have enough challenges just focusing on what I need to be doing! I don’t have time to be “dipping into everyone else’s business” as my precious foster children used to say. “Mama! Antoine is dipping into my business. He needs to mind his own business”! I can still hear their little voices shriek with disdain. Well, we need to stay out of others business and take care of our own. My babies were right!  We have our own lane to master. Let’s do our part well and recognize that we are all in this race together. Maybe that is why we are called the human race… 

This may sound a little naive. However, isn’t it true that one person really can make a difference? It may not seem like much to you, but I speak on Civility and Showing Up Well everywhere I go. As oversimplified as it sounds, I believe our answers lie in being our best as individuals and bringing our best to the world on a daily basis. I call this “running in our own lane” to the very best of our ability. Focusing on discord, injustice, and dehumanizing others will only make matters worse. Let’s stop whining and get into action. We certainly did that as women in the women’s marches in January! Let’s keep the momentum moving forward with our positive energy!

What can I do to make things better? I can begin with my own civility. How am I engaging with others? Am I adding fuel to a fire that needs to go out or am I fired up to create a positive outcome for all concerned? When I hear people engaged in hostile conversations what is my response? Do I perpetuate hate or love? It is easy to love when people are lovable. It’s not so easy when I feel they are destroying my country.

So here is my personal civility checklist:

  1. Am I being respectful? We do not have to agree to be respectful.
  2. Is it helpful for me to speak?  Is it more beneficial for me to remain silent at this moment? This does not mean I sit in silence. It does mean that timing is everything if I want to be heard … sometimes we just have to wait a minute!
  3. Have I double-checked my facts? Is this truth or propaganda? (there is propaganda on both sides believe it or not) 🙂
  4. Am I listening?  Do I just want to regurgitate my beliefs or am I actually listening to hear what others are saying? People are much more apt to receive a differing opinion if they feel they have been heard first.
  5. Am I perpetuating love? As cheesy as it sounds, love really is the answer. We must stop dehumanizing people who are different than us. Once you have ever loved someone who is different than you, it changes everything.

I understand that sometimes love can come with a sword. I am a Mama and a G-Mama. I am well aware of the “Mama Bear Syndrome”.  Don’t mess with what is precious to me! There is a time to stand up in power for what you believe in. It is also worthwhile to remember that taking the high road is a form of standing in power. Refusing to engage in conversations that are hateful and bitter is another way to walk in power. Choosing to be a part of the solution and not the problem is being the power!

Let’s be the change we want to see in this world and LEAD the change we want to see in America. It begins with me and it begins with you.

America, I love you. You are still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I will run in my own lane with freedom and bravery and I promise to do my best to not dip into anyone else’s business.

To connect with Jan and receive your free audio about what it means to Show Up Well, go to ShowUpWell.com

Yes Ma’am, No Sir? Is it OK?

I am a huge proponent of southern hospitality.There is something about the gentle drawl of the south that intrigues me. The warm smiles and kind nature of “Southern Folk” are a welcomed refreshment after the cold, sometimes icy corporate environments that I have experienced. Authenticity at its best … making people feel respected and special … well, that is what southern charm is all about!

The funny thing about us southerners is: We think everyone loves our ways. It is difficult to imagine that others would not be attracted to our charm. While I agree that the majority of “southern” behaviors fit the bill of correct protocol, there is one that needs to be dropped from the professional arena. It has to go! When I was growing up, it was a sign of respect to say “yes ma’am or no sir” to adults in my company or to those older than I.

Times. Have. Changed.

I think the most difficult thing for us to swallow in the south is that everyone does not embrace the same thoughts as we do. We live in a global society. Just because someone resides or does business in the south does not mean they hold the same values as we do. If we are to truly respect others then we must think about life from their perspective. It does not mean that we change our values. It simply means that our value of “respecting others and making them feel special” shows up in a different way. Our value stays intact. We courteously adjust the expression of that value so it is meaningful to the other person.

Saying ma’am and sir are totally inappropriate in the professional arena. Yes is sufficient. No is sufficient. Anything else can be misconstrued as condescending or projecting that the other person is “old”. Have you ever been somewhere and someone answered you with a “yes ma’am” or a “no sir” and thought …” just how old do they think I am??? … you don’t have to say sir or ma’am to me!” I have felt that way. Judge me if you may, but “ma’am” does not make me feel good coming from an adult and … it should never be used in a professional environment.

These names that mean respect in the home do not belong in the workplace. Save them for your family environment. What you mean as respect can actually feel disrespectful to the recipient in a business setting. So let your yes be yes. Let your no be no. Drop the “sir and ma’am”… at least in professional environments.

However, never ever give up your southern hospitality. It is a light to the world!

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We found love and YOU can too! 

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VIP Confidence Coaching with Jan –  12 week sessions  are available for 2014.

Take your Confidence Assessment at: http://civilityconsulting.com/assessment/

Contact Jan directly for private coaching information at: jan@civilityconsulting.com

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