Civility by Diana Olson:

Be a civility champion

April 23, 2009

For the past year, I have been involved in a Civility Project in connection with my organization, the Association of Image Consultants International, John Hopkins University, and Professor P.M. Forni, author of “Choosing Civility” and “The Civility Solution.” His two books serve as the foundation for our Civility Project that will be launched at our AICI international conference in Irvine next month. I will be sharing some information that will benefit you in improving your relationships and your life.

First, I would like to clarify the definitions of “manners,” “etiquette” and “civility.”

?Manners are principles of courteous behavior.

?Etiquette is about definite rules for a particular situation.

?Civility strives for the highest standards of kindness and consideration in which parties practice courteous “win-win” behavior.

Civility standards are the essence and foundation upon which appearance, behavior and communication are built. Civility creates positive feelings with individual or group interactions. To become a civility champion, one must communicate with kindness, consideration and respect; be able to empathize with others; and clothing and grooming must be tasteful and appropriate. Civility means listening for understanding; properly acknowledging others for their contribution and looking for the “positive” in every interaction. A civility champion will be inclusive with others, respectful of the environment, gracious and respectful of personal boundaries. Consideration of the opinions of others is important. Treating your body with respect, following through with commitments, and using apologies when needed is vital. One must be assertive, not aggressive, seek solutions out of problems, provide advice when requested and take personal responsibility.


This Civility Project is based on the 3 R’s Civility Code of Respect, Restraint and Responsibility and includes “25 Rules of Considerate Conduct.” I will share both concepts with you in the coming weeks.

DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP is an Image, Etiquette, and Civility Specialist. Her specialties include: Appearance, Behavior, and Communication. She can be contacted at (626)584-9761 or online at

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles