CO - HR Innovation

Political Correctness towards Civility To be, or not to be, politically correct...

Political Correctness towards Civility To be, or not to be, politically correct...
We can incidentally praise or criticize others depending on how we say it, the word choice or express our opinions; but those who speak with restraint and respecting others will receive KINDNESS and RESPECT in return. In certain occasion, we witness rows sparked off when someone made a remark which outraged certain communities or groups of individuals because of the stereotypical innuendos and jokes, which can be sensitive to the culture.

The point I am making is that “political correctness” which occurs everywhere, is the attempt to use language, behaviour, ideas, or policies in order to curtail offense caused to cultural, racial, or groups that have distinctive identities. Political incorrectness, on the other hand, refers to ideas or language that is considered offensive.

Political correctness is a vastly debated topic, with a long history, and often elicits strong reactions from both its supporters and critics. While in the past it was associated more with refraining from endorsing racist behaviour and political positions, these days it is more to do with softening or neutralizing language, using the right WORDS choice, especially concerning sexist terms or that which differentiates people negatively, so as not to cause offense to people. In other words, VERBAL expression does not merely communicate thought but also determines it, to a certain extent, for example adopting the language of ‘embracing diversity’ in the area of inclusivity and multiculturalism.

It assumes that if people use a different word choice or language of non-sexist, non- discriminatory, their thinking will also change accordingly. The critics of political correctness may say that it is undemocratic and hampers free speech by creating limitations on public discourse, especially in political forums and universities. Many critics of political correctness also complain about the lack of humour in political correctness, but surely it is high time to take on the touchy

issues in our collective social landscape- religion, politics, and media- and turn them all toward the purpose of CIVILITY, which is about ‘Kindness and Respect’ to each other.

As like a game of golf or tennis, two competing athletes were competitive and focused on victory while still remaining gentlemanly and genial.

WORDS can be nourishing as fruit, but the decline of civility in the modern time may have carved away modest refinement, kindness and respect of each other. We maybe be facing the epidemic of incivility and it is correct for contemporary columnists to say that we need to bring back values of ethical behaviour, integrity and restore TRUST, in business and contemporary politics. The virtue of civility implies respect as each side look for the good in what the other is saying and be respectful of the differences. As the old saying goes, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” Another good reference that struck me, “When certain people question your character, don’t respond by doubting theirs.”- excerpt from book ‘The little Monk’ by Madeline Delbrel, a collection of saying about life.

Political correctness towards Civility is not simply a question of minding your manners, it is also a critical component of a transformational leadership, which is currently missing-out and undervalued. It is making distinctions with respect to etiquette, politeness, tolerance, kindness, being a good citizen, to being a good neighbor and more. All these requires attention, listening to others giving them opportunity to voice their opinions, and consideration.

This skill is about personality shift which may be the key determinant between success and failure in leadership.
  • Teresa Dian Chew
    Teresa Dian Chew
    International award-winning Image Consultant, Author, Coach, Speaker

    Teresa Dian Chew, with 15 years’ experience in the field, is an international accredited Image Strategist. Teresa Chew is a qualified Chartered Marketer and Certified Image Consultant trained in the United Kingdom. Teresa Chew was featured in local newspaper and TV station for her success and was listed as Ladies' of Recognition and Achievement in the "International Who's Who Gazette,USA." as well as "Asia's Who's Who of Men and Women of Achievement".

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