workplace civility

Workplace Civility: Leaders Can Make a Difference

It’s been a tough road to hoe in the civility business.  Surveys and anecdotes about the caustic uncivil interactions in America—particularly in politics—abound. But there is a bright spot on the horizon.  A recent survey shows that in workplaces where…
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civil communication fight noise

Fight Through The Noise Using Civil Communication

Communication is crucial to a lawyer’s success. Whether you are engaging with a client, colleague, or the judiciary, it is imperative that your message is clear. However, as we are exposed to new forms of technology, we continue to complicate the traditional model of communication.  …
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civility in America

Civility in America – It Matters

It’s been a year since President Trump was elected. As expected, as an outsider to politics, he is not conducting business as usual. And his style? Decidedly “unpresidential” some would say. Others would say downright uncivil. As Executive Director of…
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Good Sportsmanship

Civility Is Good Sportsmanship

Sports separates “winners” from “losers.” And there is also the old adage that it isn’t whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.  In other words, good sportsmanship counts—and unsportsmanlike conduct can get you thrown out of…
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moral argument

How To Debate Politics And Win A Moral Argument

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me an article called, How To Win Your Next Political Argument. It had some great takeaways. It pointed out that people rely more on emotions than fact, that belittling someone’s opinion will lead…
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Has America Lost Her Civility?

On November 8, I will vote for the first time in a presidential election. And that experience, which I have waited 16 years for, will always be overshadowed by what happened to me this spring. In March, I voted in…
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judges take control

Judges, Take Control of the Courtroom

The most frequent comment we hear at the Commission about reversing the slide toward incivility in the legal profession: have the judges take control. Someone told me just last week that associates in her firm try to resist meeting incivility…
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Professional Ethics

Incivility and Professional Ethics

Can lawyers properly advocate for their clients without being aggressive toward opposing counsel? Many say no—aggressiveness is part and parcel of advocacy. And over the past few decades, anyone who is in the ring with lawyers would agree that there…
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Governor Bruce Rauner

Calling the Judiciary “Corrupt” Isn’t Civil

It was a heck of a week for the judiciary in Illinois. The least talked-about of the three co-equal branches of government came under fire by the newly-elected head of the executive branch, Governor Bruce Rauner. On April 7, as…
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Higher Standard of Conduct

Inspiring Higher Standard of Conduct For All

Working at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism tends to sensitize us Commission staffers to issues of incivility. After all, our mission is to promote civility, integrity and professionalism among the 94,000 plus members of the bench and bar…
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Workplace Incivility

A Difference of Opinions on Civility

Incivility can create an uncomfortable work environment. People feel targeted and victimized if they are on the receiving end of incivility. We applaud the efforts of employers to put in place workplace guidelines governing courtesy and respect. Unfortunately, however, employers…
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