Bringing Civility to the Workplace

A Three-Month Course

Bringing Civility
to the Workplace

A Three-Month Course


To support individuals in developing and applying practical communication skills that enhance civility in the leader-group relationship


  1. To explore the value of practicing civility and thereby reducing conflict and misunderstandings in the workplace
  2. To expand one’s psychological space as a leader or group member by connecting with inner strength, healthy boundaries, and integrity
  3. To develop the awareness of the part of the psyche that observes without judgment
  4. To apply eight specific communication skills that support civility in the workplace by emphasizing self-responsibility and inner growth.

Centering, witnessing,
and reflecting expand our psychological space and enable us to connect with the inner strength we need when relating to others with kindness and consideration.


Are you seeking ways to experience your workplace as supportive and nurturing?  Are you exhausted from attending meetings that lack mutual cooperation and respect?  Would you like to have tools at your fingertips that help you see yourself and others through the eyes of civility?  Would you like to learn simple yet powerful tools of civility that you can easily share with your co-workers?

Ask yourself if now is the time for you to devote yourself to understanding eight essential communication skills that create civility in the workplace.  These skills have proven to be indispensable when creating an atmosphere in the workplace that fosters respect, consideration, acceptance, curiosity, and healthy boundaries.  When a workplace intentionally weaves these qualities with those of partnership and cooperation, the task to be done (head) and the working relationship (heart) needed to carry it out with civility are in balance.

Reactions to change and to differences of opinion in the workplace can give rise to a climate of incivility in the form of polarized thought and behavior.  If workers perceive their psychological health as being jeopardized, they become defensive. Differences of opinion, if not related to with civility, can escalate into arguments or withdrawals into silence that no longer focus objectively on the issue at hand.  Not being able to disagree without being disagreeable undermines a positive working environment.

Human interactions that can potentially create a climate of civility in the workplace are dependent upon a commitment to practice effective communication by all members of an organization or group, regardless of roles and responsibilities.  Our Institute has made a commitment to develop and practice communication skills that ensure civility in its workplace.  The Institute has shared this learning with many leaders, groups, and organizations since its founding in 1980.

Understanding and applying eight essential communication skills is the focus of the three lessons of the Bringing Civility to the Workplace Study Program: centering, witnessing, reflection, suspending judgment, group communication guidelines, deep heart listening, identification of assumptions, and inquiry.  As part of making your decision to enroll, carefully read the program requirements and commitments listed below.

Topics Covered

    • Need for civility in the workplace
    • Healthy boundaries and integrity in the workplace
    • Setting the stage for civility through centering, witnessing, and reflection
    • Deep heart listening and communication guidelines in groups
    • Mental models, assumptions, suspension of judgment, and inquiry


        • Follow the designated study steps and complete reading and worksheet assignments on schedule
        • Spend approximately eight hours a week to complete the three-month study program
        • Send designated worksheets to assigned faculty member for discussion
        • Apply course material in current leadership and group settings
        • Discuss completed assignments and handouts in phone calls with your assigned faculty member, plus additional contact by email as needed
        • Lesson cannot be extended past the original three-month period


          1. Interested person is emailed course description and sample of the first month assignments
          2. Person registers if wishes to enroll by calling 703-706-5333 OR emailing .


          1. Student is provided with the Table of Contents and the assignments and handouts for the first month and asked to review them before orientation phone call or meeting.
          2. Phone or in-person orientation to review assignments and handouts for the first month and set a starting date, as well as dates and times for the following phone calls:*
            • A half-hour “check-in” phone call from your assigned faculty member to address any questions you may have will take place one week after you have started  Lesson One.
            • A one-hour phone call made by you to your faculty member will take place at the end of each month to review the month’s assignments and experience with the material. Your faculty member will send you an email that explains the focus of these phone calls.

          * Student is invited to contact the faculty member during the study program via email or phone if s/he has difficulty working with the materials and needs support.

          Inquiry is an essential skill to practice in the workplace because it promotes a nonjudgmental attitude that allows a creative process to unfold in an atmosphere of respect for divergent
          points of view.

          Course Tuition: $125

          Fee Policy: Course paid in full at registration.  Full refund if you withdraw within three days.  Course fee is nonrefundable after three days.  Participant makes and pays for monthly phone calls.

          Text: You will need to purchase your own copy of The Awakened Leader.

          Reference: Susan S. Trout, PhD, Born to Serve: The Evolution of the Soul Through Service ©1997, The Awakened Leader: Leadership as a Classroom of the Soul ©2005, The Clarion Call: Leadership and Group Life in the Aquarian Era ©2009, Alexandria, VA: Three Roses Press.

          Disclaimer: The Institute for the Advancement of Service does not provide medical or mental health care.  As such, courses and study programs are not intended to be psychotherapy, medical therapy, or a substitute for either one.  Participants are required to assume self-responsibility for their wellbeing by seeking, when appropriate, psychological and medical professional care.

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