Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process….(Civility) is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.
Definition of Civility by Cassandra Dahnke and Tomas Spath, from the Institute for Civility in Government, as quoted by Brene Brown in her book, Braving the Wilderness.