How Civility Increases Your Effectiveness With Christine Porath | Ep. 205

COGE 204 Christine Porath | Civility

Civility involves more than just being polite. It involves disagreeing without being disrespectful, finding common ground as a starting point for discussing differences, actively listening and attempting to understand other’s perspectives, and teaching others to do the same.

​​It requires effort to remain engaged and respectful in discussions, even when there are strong disagreements.

Unfortunately, with so much conflict happening, civility is often lacking in the construction industry. And this episode’s guest believes that civility in the workplace can reduce employee turnover and increase productivity. Join Eric Anderton as he talks to author, professor, researcher, and speaker Christine Porath about civility in the workplace. Learn how you can develop a culture where every voice matters and people aren’t afraid to speak up. Find out why it’s important to recruit people who align with your values. And know how you can be a team player. Start practicing civility today!

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How Civility Increases Your Effectiveness With Christine Porath

Making people feel respected, valued, and appreciated. These are extremely important in terms of the morale of your organization and the way that you interact with clients, subcontractors, and project partners. These things can all be put under the banner of this idea of civility. That’s what we are going to discuss with my guest, Christine Porath. She is a tenured professor at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and she is the author of Mastering Civility.

She has worked with folks like Google, Marriott, Cleveland Clinic, and Microsoft, and she is an expert in interpersonal relationships and how they affect the workplace. We are going to talk about what civility is, why it’s important, how you can get civility into an organization, the link between civility and the people that you recruit, and how can you be civil in high-pressure situations that many of us find ourselves in when we are working on construction projects. This is a straightforward and practical interview with insights that you’ll be able to use right away. Feel free to check out Christine’s work and I know you’ll enjoy our conversation.

Christine, thank you for joining us on the show.

Thanks for having me.

It’s my pleasure. I wanted to get you on the show because of your focus on civility in the workplace. Civility is an interesting word. I’d like to kick it right off by asking you what you mean by civility.

The best synonym is respect, making people feel valued, appreciated, and heard so that they feel like they are part of the team. They feel included or have a sense of belonging. All of those things exemplify what it means to feel respected and that you matter in some small way.

Why do you think civility is lacking in businesses?

The number one reason that we find that people say that they are disrespectful, rude, or uncivil is that they feel stressed. Nowadays, that goes for most people. Another reason is that people lack training in it. They claim that the leaders are role models of bad behavior, and so they are following their lead. They think it’s a way to get ahead. Surprisingly, about 50% of people thought that it doesn’t pay in the workplace to be civil. In other words, coming across as powerful or rude is a way to get ahead, and so they are afraid of being civil in the workplace.

The first one that you talked about was that people are uncivil because of stress. In your experience where stress is a reality, what are some effective ways that leaders manage their stress so that it doesn’t affect the way they behave in a negative manner?

One coping mechanism is whatever you do, whether it that’s exercise, yoga, meditation, or mindfulness, you typically do that allows you to release that stress or feel better and take care of yourself. A lot of it boils down to caring for yourself in ways that make you feel calmer in your everyday, feeling better about yourself in small ways. One thing that contributes to this is not only the burnout that we are seeing in life and in the workplace but a lack of sleep. It’s hard to connect with people to be patient and kind when you are sleep deprived.

People pick up on that with an hour less of sleep. They call it a social repellent. We are not necessarily aware of it if we are sleep-deprived, but someone else is picking up on that and doesn’t like us or want to interact with us nearly as much. Whether it’s taking care of ourselves via exercise throughout the day so that we are not angry, the idea of sleeping and recovery, or taking breaks throughout the day, if at all possible. Even for a minute, a couple of minutes, ten minutes, and things like that can aid us as far as feeling better and then interacting better with people.

When it comes to managing stress, people may say, “I don’t have time to manage my stress.” What do you think is the simplest and easiest step that someone can take right away to be more effective at managing stress?

One thing would be carving out small moments where they have some time to decompress. That could be a few minutes nowadays between meetings, getting somewhere, or projects. For me personally, working out and exercising have always been a huge part of my life. I need to get that in the morning for myself. People have different routines, but I know that I’m better throughout the day if I take that time.

If you want to manage your stress, you need to carve out small moments where you can have some time to decompress. Share on X

I will make up the productivity or the efficiency like a lot of folks. Even experimenting with that stuff and seeing, “Does this work well? Can I carve out time? It seems to bode well. Another big thing nowadays that we see is if you can stay away from all the negativity and in some small way. For some of us, that means pulling off of social media or not tuning into the news, certain websites, or those things.

Being proactive about reducing the negativity in your life and what you are taking in because we are not always aware of it. We feel that and we give off that negativity or that stress in ways that we are being primed throughout the day. Even things like if you can control who you are around, that matters. We don’t get to necessarily choose whom we work with, but things like who we are with, what we are taking in, and what we are consuming, all matter.

What’s the difference between being appropriately assertive and uncivil? People reading this are in construction and sometimes you got to step up and say, “You need to be on the job site. This needs to get done. If it doesn’t get done, then we are going to have a stronger conversation.” That’s the way that it works. How do you balance that?

It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. One of the tricky things about instability is that it’s all about how you make someone feel. We may think, we have good intentions. We are giving them important feedback about how to be more competent, and they may feel like, “What a jerk. He’s demeaning me or belittling me and ways that are terrible.”

There are a couple of things. One would be if you can create a culture where you are radically candid, you are coaching someone up. You are trying to improve their performance, and the likelihood of them being successful in the construction business. If that’s the case, then the whole idea is that you have to demonstrate at some point that you care about them personally.

That’s what Kim Scott would say about Radical Candor. You care personally. You challenge directly. If I know that you care about me. There’s research that shows that if you preface this stuff which is nineteen words and the idea is, “I think you can do better, and here’s what I suggest. I care about you and I know you can do more,” then you are off and running.

I think so much of this comes down to the civility stuff which is what Doug Conant calls TouchPoints. These are brief daily interactions you have with people throughout the day. These things do not require a huge investment of time. If you are saying hello to someone, or you are saying how you are doing or how can I help at different moments throughout the weeks, months, or year, someone notices. They give you the benefit of the doubt typically, such that then when you criticize me and say, “It’s got to be better. I need you to do X and here’s why, and it didn’t work because of this.” People are much less defensive and much more likely to deliver on your feedback.


There was this idea of role models and a lack of role models. How can I become a role model of civility? What do I need to focus on?

The idea is that you walk the talk. These little touch points that I mentioned that you are doing those things. Some of it comes down to tone which is hard. We can’t accurately evaluate our tone while we are speaking. I may sound condescending, even though I have the best of intentions and I like you. It may be literally my vocal tone.

It may be where I come from and the directness of my language. All of that is colored in ways that were not accurately evaluating especially at the moment. If I recorded myself, I’d have a better chance, but even then, we are not very self-aware. About 95% of people believe that they are self-aware. They have a good sense of their strengths, their weaknesses, and how they come across giving feedback. Tasha Eurich has found that only 10% to 15% are self-aware. On any given day, that’s 80% of us missing the mark as far as probably thinking we have good intentions. We are trying to do well for the person, for our company, and for our team, and yet we are completely missing the mark and may have blind spots.

What you said about us being unaware of how we are coming across to others, even though we think we are incredibly sensitive is interesting. You’ve worked with some companies like Microsoft, Google, and Marriott. In your work with organizations and you don’t have to name names, but can you think of an organization that when you began to work with them, they were like, “They were struggling with some of this stuff, and over time they made some incremental changes?”

There was one law firm that brought me in early on. They were having a lot of issues with retention and people leaving not wanting to work around certain partners that may have had a reputation for this. It generally is pretty large power differences between people, which oftentimes creates this sense of, “They don’t value me.”

In the power differences, that’s where you typically tend to see more of this stuff. They were struggling and yet they went through training. They came up with what they called the civility code. These were ten things that people of all levels came up with. They joked and said it was the Ten Commandments but the managing partner had them put in granite, engraved, and put in their front lobby.

This was something where they said, “These are things that we feel comfortable calling each other out on. We are going to hold the bar here now.” Within a year and a half, they won the best place to work which was not common for a law firm. In a relatively short amount of time, you can make some pretty big strides on this stuff. It is key that you have people that are, to your point, role models. They are setting the tone. They are willing to live by it. They are willing to invest in it or call people out on it at the moment. Ideally, people feel comfortable doing that with each other.

It is key that your workplace has role models who are setting the tone and are willing to live by it. Share on X

I got a two-part question here. Should standards of civility differ from company to company? How do expectations for civility differ from generation to generation?

It’s completely normal and appropriate for things to vary from company to company. Ideally, employees or leaders would be coming up with their own that are appropriate. For example, in some cases when I give talks or trainings, I will cover how to be civil on email or some basic things. It’s nothing too particular, but the idea is that in some workplaces, that’s not an issue or they are not using relying on email a lot.

It does vary quite a bit. It’s important that they fit your values and what you are going to stick to. Ideally, people are comfortable calling each other out on this. You want a situation where it’s okay at the moment, it’s very apparent what the norms are, and here’s where things break down. You’ve talked about soccer or football and yellow card, red card.

You know what these things are, and so when it happens like there was an academic university I was at. We are in our department. We had yellow card and red card signals to each other because there were some anger management issues and this was a way of helping each other out, but I have seen it done well. There was a government agency that I worked with that had ten principles of civility and they were so well known, meaning it was on the back of their name badges. They reinforced this in different ways. It was a real mix of different types of employees, janitors, cleaners, gardeners, people running power people, I would say professional leadership-type positions.

It ran the gamut and yet they were very comfortable calling each other out when it happened. I was there for my last training session and this one gentleman said, “We call each other out. We say 7 or 5.” Literally, they knew the ten and it was easy. It’s better that way where it’s almost informal and I use the word coach because I love sports. To me, that signifies we don’t have to write each other up for these things. That may happen if people aren’t adhering to the yellow card, red card, or the norm. These things can be done where we see ourselves raising our level and helping improve each other’s game.

It’s interesting because as you are saying that, I’m thinking that you institute. Let’s say you have these ten commandments or directives. Some people in the company can be way too zealous with those things and use them as leverage in a power dynamic that becomes unhealthy where the weak bully the strong. How does a company avoid that situation?

That’s probably up to the strong to manage, the powerful so that they are having the conversation. It pays to adhere to what Kim Scott talks about Radical Candor. When I’m giving a talk on this, I try to make it clear that stability is not about sugarcoating stuff. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have hard conversations. You can’t disagree. You can’t give negative feedback. All of those things you want. It’s a matter of the how.

In her way, it’s care personally, challenge directly. It’s up to a leader or those that have more power or status leading the pack to recalibrate if needed or to point out that these aren’t meant to be used in a passive-aggressive way. You may have to have hard conversations along the way. Civility isn’t avoiding those things. It’s tackling them, but it’s all about the style and the how of it. I’m not screaming at you about it. I’m going to talk to you about it.

The other aspect of that two-parter was the generational differences in terms of stability. What have you noticed in the workplace between a Gen Xer, then you got your Millennials, you got your Gen Z-ers, and you got a few remaining Boomers? How is it different from generation to generation?

In general, we do see differences for sure. One thing is that you see younger generations are much more comfortable multitasking. In some ways, for example, that may come across as not paying attention to people, let’s say in a meeting or in the moment. You’ll see younger people often on their phones and/or texting as you are talking.

In some cases, maybe we give them the benefit of the doubt when they are taking notes. Regardless, they are always on and they are used to getting pinged and pinging people constantly. Years ago, that was somewhat disturbing to other people and it was like you are giving me your full attention. There can be differences around that.

In general, I have heard feedback from older employees saying, “Why is it that we get younger employees that have such a lack of respect?” The idea is that younger folks are coming into workplaces seeing less of a power and status difference and maybe being more comfortable interacting and open-door thing, candid feedback. I remember there was a law firm partner that said that he had what we would call an intern. These were summer associates. He had a summer associate come in and he gave him a project to work on and gave him the directions. The guy looked at him and said, “Memo it up for me and get it back to me.”


The law partner was sitting there thinking, “What? You are an intern. I gave you a task. How about doing it? It’s back on my plate where I’m supposed to memo it and get it to you?” He had a sense of humor as he told me the story, but I hear about those things and I think that there can be some friction around it. There are power and status differences, respect around experience, tenure, and things like that. There are probably some benefits to not seeing huge differences, but there are also feelings around, “I have earned this so I deserve your respect.” In some cases, younger employees are not seen as bringing as much of that as others might want or expect.

Why do you think companies fail in their attempts to be more civil? You introduce the initiative or they contact you. I’m sure this has happened. I contact the personal trainer and I say, “I want to get in shape,” but then I never show up to the gym. Why do companies fail even if they want to be more civil?

It’s what you mentioned that Marshall Goldsmith talks about. We may have good intentions, but if we are not putting them into play and we are not disciplined to do the work, go to the gym, punch in, run on the treadmill, or do whatever we are going to do. In this case, what Marshall Goldsmith would point to is that we are not closing the feedback loop. In other words, we are not getting information on whether we are improving.

It’s this idea of a lack of self-awareness around, “Are we improving?” We assume. “It’s been on my mind. I’m trying. I care. I think I’m coming across as very respectful.” Whereas you want that feedback to know, “Am I doing better?” In one case, I knew a coach who was coaching a woman who was always the smartest in the room.

She was responsible for billions of dollars of business and had gotten to the point where because she talked over people and things like that, people stopped offering ideas or speaking up in meetings. Her teams weren’t working for her in a way. Once she got this feedback from a coach and she had a tendency to interrupt meetings.

That’s a good point, but it was not working for the people below her. She shared with her team that she recognized that this was an issue. She even shared that they were going to an offsite, so it’s after several days she was going to follow up with them to see how things were working. It helped because the coach gave her something to do. Any time she wanted to interrupt, he suggested she tap her foot.

It was like a physical thing where you are moving forward but it’s lunging. I’m not going to lunge verbally, so she could share even the idea that she shared with her team. “I recognize this is an issue. I’m working on it. I care about it enough to work with someone or pay someone. I’m disclosing it which shows a lot of vulnerability, and I’m not proud of this because I know that you voiced that this is having a negative effect on you.”

“Now I’m going to work on it and I’m going to care enough to, again, be vulnerable and ask you for feedback about how am I doing. Do you notice a difference?” That last part, in particular, is putting yourself out there. Going to the trouble of gathering feedback, risking how it’s going to feel when you did it all right but you slipped up several times. That method is one that we would want to suggest to others.

In your experience, what is the best way is the best for someone to solicit that feedback? There are tons of different 360 processes. You can go with the dusty binder route. You can go the three-question route. What do you think is the most effective way for an executive to get feedback from their people that’s going to be genuine and helpful?

Dan Harris with 10% Happier did a great TED Talk on this method where several years ago he solicited feedback from others. He had a firm that collected a lot of feedback, but he got an official 360 report and it was damning, to say the least. He was shocked to read what people thought of him. It was very extensive and it was hard. He had to decide what was he going to do with that.

360 feedback is tough for a number of reasons, but you have to have a culture where people feel safe speaking up. Oftentimes, that requires a lot more work than you might think because you are often getting feedback from people that have less power and status than you. If they don’t feel like it’s anonymous, in other words, how many people are you collecting feedback from? They may not speak up.

360 feedback is only possible if you have a culture where people feel safe to speak up. Share on X

If there are any reservations about how the feedback’s going to be used or the type of person that you are, they are scared of any retaliation, revenge, or blowback that might come even if others hear about some of the negativity and could pin it on them. As much as I recommend 360 feedback, it’s a lot more challenging in terms of you have to have the culture. You have to put the work in to ensure that you are going to get useful feedback in return. If you do that, as Dan Harris has talked about publicly, it can be so helpful for people. Short of that, I do think collecting one from your peers, subordinates, and people even above you, could be very helpful.

I do that with teams, whether those are MBA teams or executive teams, or even undergrad business. If they are working in teams, they are giving each other very specific feedback. I try to prime them and say, “Feedback is a gift and it takes courage.” Even coach them a bit on receiving feedback which is something that unfortunately isn’t talked about a lot. There’s a great book called Thanks for the Feedback, and it’s something that I didn’t see out there very much because we talk a lot about giving feedback, but we don’t talk a lot about something basic things that could be helpful about receiving feedback as well, but the one on one stuff is super helpful.

You brought up something with the example of the executive that you shared about when she’s about to interrupt. There’s that physical cue. I have a similar physical cue when I’m beginning to get distracted where I ball up the toes on my right foot and then I say to myself, “Ground yourself.” That’s something that I picked up from one of my mentors.

What’s important with this feedback is that it doesn’t have to be super complex if you nail the right behaviors and practice those and put them into some habits. That could help in terms of transforming the way that you are behaving. Construction is inherently conflict written and uncivil. How can a company begin to walk this path to civility path?

There are four main steps that I recommend. One would be recruiting and selecting people that fit your culture. If you say, you have certain standards that you decided on, for example, you said, “Does that vary for every industry or company?” “Yes, it does.” We’ll try to get people that are going to fit what you are looking for.

If I had to pick one area to invest in, it would be that. That’s probably the biggest return on your investment because turnover is so incredibly costly and incivility is like a virus. It spreads. It’s contagious. You can try to hide someone and that is a strategy and it works better than not, but it’s hard because this stuff is going to spread quickly and so there’s like this multiplier effect going on.

Starting with whom you select, doing your background checks, and talking to people that worked with them. Ideally, one simple thing, maybe it’s not so simple but in theory, is to get feedback, not just from the people that are on the reference list, the three people that they have kissed up to. It’s people kissed up and kicked down.

What you want is peers or, better yet, people that worked for them. The parking lot attendant or waiter or waitress. Seeing people that have less power and status, how do they treat them, the person that’s scheduled the interview, and all of those folks? That matters a lot. We talked about the idea of coaching a little bit. That encompasses a lot of different things like, for example, setting expectations.

That could be some of the norms that we talked about. Creating those that could be training has been shown to be effective. That could be a little bit of role modeling and walking the talk. There’s a lot of stuff in there but that’s an important aspect of scoring it, what I call. That’s, “Are you including it in their performance management review if they have one of those?”

That’s a messy performance management review. What about informal things? Are you complimenting people that are respectful? Are you telling stories where you are talking about a construction worker that served a client well with a challenging jerk of a person that they were having to deal with on a regular basis? Did they find a way to muster the restraint, work through that, and get the team through that? Using those stories because those stories are fantastic. They stick. They get passed on. They are a great way to move the culture.

The last aspect I would say is what I call the practice and that’s the piece that is very hard which is holding people accountable. Once you get the feedback, what are you going to do with it? There’s an example that I often use with this which comes from Danny Meyer who owns and founded Shake Shack but also owns a lot of Manhattan restaurants. He talks about how if he has a chef that’s rude, he’ll let him know it and draw the line once, and then if it happens again, he’ll fire the person.

People say, “How can you do that? That is your talent.” He says, “Customers can taste it.” We see that in the research too. It may happen in the back room, but ultimately, it gets passed on in ways that then people feel. Customers, clients, suppliers, and folks like that will feel the effects of that. That’s an easy one for me to talk about the accountability piece or the practicing piece. If you have to carry that out, that can be challenging, including letting someone go if they don’t follow.

You frame it rightly beginning at the top of the funnel with your recruiting. If you understand who you are as a company, you can then attract the right people and propel the wrong people. Hopefully, through that, get the right people who can reflect your culture and a lot of these civility issues can be dealt with through that process.

That follows what we call the employment life cycle and how it works. The truth is that you can start anywhere and that there’s value anywhere. The more consistent you are with these pieces, meaning the groups that I have seen do this effectively. You asked about this earlier. It’s the idea of, “Let’s pay attention to whom we are bringing in. Let’s have some norms of respect. If we have the means, let’s find some training or send some TED Talk links around that to get at how to listen.” It’s how to do some of these simple things that might be on our norm list better that are digestible. We can read and listen to it.

They are basic things that we can take with us that we can start doing tomorrow that get us there. The more consistent you are, the quicker you get there, and the more likely it is to stick, but the truth is you can start anywhere. You don’t have to be at the top of the leadership level to start doing these things. To your point, if someone’s leading a team or crew, if they start walking the talk, chances are it’s going to feel better and people are going to start mimicking that behavior and living that way. That’s the hope at least.

if these things get reinforced naturally. That idea, again, going back to the sports example, but if we are having fun, we are high-fiving each other, it’s like that energy build, and then we start giving that off to others in ways and they show this with MBA teams and others. That touch propels us forward. When we are doing that and supporting each other in those ways, that pays in some pretty neat ways.

We are looking at the high five as opposed to the right cross, the one that Draymond did to Jordan Poole.

That would be fantastic. I hadn’t thought of that. I hadn’t put that together, but yes. I love that example. Because of COVID and everything, some of these examples are not what they were, but hopefully, it will get back to that. The fist bump or the emojis on this stuff, it all works.

You’ve been very generous with your time. Tell us a little bit more about the work that you do and how people can get in touch with you, and take advantage of some of the stuff that you produce.

COGE 204 Christine Porath | Civility
Mastering Community: The Surprising Ways Coming Together Moves Us From Surviving To Thriving By Christine Porath

I have a new book out, Mastering Community which has a lot of these stories, sports, and otherwise. It has a chapter on the respect that builds on some of this stuff and what groups are doing. The book prior to that was Mastering Civility. I have a website, and it’s meant to have some resources that are helpful to people. There’s a TED Talk out there for those that like that thing or podcast and things like that as well. Hopefully, that’s helpful.

You got that Ted Talk with over 3 million views.

It’s a popular topic. Thank you.

Christine, I appreciate you joining me. I know that you have a lot of experience. If you had to pick between basketball and soccer, which one would you pick?

Basketball came more intuitively. Although now, I’m working with the UNC Women’s Soccer team. I had the best time with them. Talk about a culture that has great values and players rate each other on these core values. I have learned a lot from this culture and how they balance competition and a sense of community or connection in ways that are challenging in the business world, but I’m having the time of my life close to sports again which is fantastic.

What have you learned from them in terms of that balancing community and competition? In construction, that’s a huge thing.

They measure everything in ways that I would have never guessed. Anson Dorrance is the coach. He has 22 national championships. He coached the women’s national team with Mia Hamm and others that won a World Cup. He has what’s called the competitive cauldron. If you could think about measuring everything, every step that they take, every header that they do at practice, every corner kick that they take, there’s a crew of statisticians measuring everything every day in practice. It all gets tabulated. It’s like a little Excel sheet with where you got drafted by your peers like a Fantasy draft and then how you performed and what the gap is on that. It’s all getting factored in.

In every game, there are objective ratings by someone that scores players in the way that they take analytics into account. All of that gets tabulated and ultimately, they get ranked as far as the top player down to the 37th player. They can see during their player development meetings where they are falling short because there’s a page with each one of these things.

They can see that while they may be great at one on ones at practice, they may be terrible at heading and that’s hurting them. They may be doing well in games, but they came in and they weren’t fit, so their athletic testing at the beginning is poor. There are some things that they have more or less ability to improve. Some of them, vertical jump, we may not all have that, but there are some things where they will focus on what they can improve, but the idea is that they climb the ladder.

They may come in and they may be on the national team, but it’s the U-19 national team, and/or it’s from another country and they are thrown into this cauldron. Instead of being the top player like many of them were, they are now 30th and that’s hard, and they are getting this constant feedback coming at them. It’s posted at practice. They are being measured every day. It’s about how you bring your best game every day. How do you move from 20th in your freshman year to 12th in your sophomore year to 5th in your junior year to 1? He can tell them with the truth, “If you are in the top five, that’s pro level. That’s the national team.”

The top ten is probably pro-level, and they have enough examples to know that’s how it happened. It’s incredibly competitive at practice every day, but they balance that with the idea that they care about each other. Part of that is the recruiting that we talked about. You are going to come there if you care. A huge part of it is their core values. They have thirteen core values that they rate each other on three times a year. The players do, and they are values that have nothing to do with soccer performance. The closest thing that I thought was focused on the field. It’s focused in the classroom.

It’s all about character and character development, and the idea is that if you are below a 3, average-wise on the 13, he would want you to transfer or leave the program. In other words, they want to identify where you are falling short, where you are in the pink zone under a three, and that’s what you want to work on improving evaluated by your peers. That idea of being a good team player matters in ways that either get to be a part of the team or you are probably not going to feel like a part of the team.

Let your peers identify where you're falling short, and work on improving that. It's important to be a team player. Share on X

They go out of their way to pay attention to stuff so that they are making each other feel good about being a part of the team. They care about each other. I do think recruiting has something to do about it. I don’t think that you are going to come here if you don’t care about that at all, or you are going to quickly realize better, it’s not going to probably work well for either party on that side, and that’s true of organizations too.

What are you doing with the soccer team?

I’m working on a book with Anson Dorrance on how to develop people and the culture in which you do that. That’s been a longstanding project. We put some things into place and we experiment with, for example, a new value is how energizing is someone because I know de-energizing. You don’t have to be uncivil to be a de-energizer.

There’s a certain vibe that you may give off where people are like, “It’s like a repellent.” Whereas the energizers, whether they are hurt, sitting on the bench, or whatever the case may be, they are providing something and that shows. We know that stuff is contagious and so that’s one that we have seen make a difference around some of this stuff. It’s fun because Anson is like a mad scientist who’s constantly experimenting with stuff from different fields that he thinks will help them, especially around character development and academics, but in all ways. It’s been a lot of fun for me to learn from them and be around sports.

Christine, I appreciate you joining me, and thank you for your insights. I look forward to your successes in terms of the new book Mastering Community. Thanks again for joining us on the show.

Thanks for having me.

Thank you again for reading. Hope you enjoyed my interview with Christine. As we always say, feel free to share this interview with other people that you think would benefit from it, and also give us a rating or a review wherever you get your show.


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About Christine Porath

COGE 204 Christine Porath | CivilityChristine Porath is a tenured professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. She’s the author of Mastering Civility and co-author of The Cost of Bad Behavior. She is also a consultant working with leading organizations to help people and communities thrive. Her speaking and consulting clients include Google, United Nations, World Bank, Microsoft, Genentech, Marriott, 3M, Verizon, Ford, World Health Organization, and Cleveland Clinic.