Learning about the Civility Project (guest blogger – Jacob Griesbach, graduate student)

The Civility Project

 Hello. My name is Jacob Griesbach and I am completing my graduate internship at the UW Oshkosh Career Services office. I have recently had the opportunity to attend a seminar on a new, community-based initiative.  It’s called the Civility Project. 

 The Career Services team has had the pleasure to discuss this project with Karen Heikel, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Tom Grogan, Executive Projects Coordinator. In meeting with them, it was explained that to be civil means to care about others and treat them with respect.

The Civility Project focuses on achieving this goal by following nine simple steps.  Through our discussions, we have defined each step as listed below.

 Pay Attention

Be aware of your thoughts and actions.  Recognize and be sensitive to the situations of others.


Seek to understand ideas and motivations.  Observe verbal and non verbal cues while interacting. 

 Be Inclusive

Understand that the inclusion of others allows for new ideas that may otherwise be overlooked.  Facilitation and free flow of information allows for the best solutions to surface.

 Not Gossip

Gossip has the potential to ruin relationships. It destroys trust and diminishes moral between coworkers and group members. 

Show Respect

Develop a culture that allows others to learn and grow without fear of ridicule or judgment.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.

 Be Agreeable

Establish rapport by seeking to understand those with a different view.  Display a willingness to work with and learn from others as a team. 


Remove interpersonal barriers and reduce animosity. Display humility by being reasonable and admitting your faults.       

 Give Constructive Criticism

Promote safety and understanding by providing feedback that is not offensive or demeaning.  Open conversations on a positive note. Provide alternative solutions and best practices in constructive ways.

Take Responsibility

Take accountability for your actions by accepting blame when necessary.  This shows others we are responsible for our actions and willing to learn from our mistakes when situations arise.

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