“One for All & All for One” is best known as the motto of The Three Musketeers, highlighted in the French novel by Alexandre Dumas in 1866. The Musketeers were an elite French army formed in 1622. They were given muskets, swords and extensive training for their mission to protect the King of France and the French Citizens.
The Three Musketeers, known as "the three inseparables,” were also committed to being kind to all people while they worked together to help others. They believed if one person was facing a challenge, then it was a problem for the whole community.
The story of The Three Musketeers is based on real people doing their best to work as a team to serve anyone in need of their help and do it in a friendly manner. These Three “Friends in France” also made sure they always took care of each other.
All leaders know their workplace, family and/or community would benefit if more people were living the “One for All & All for One” motto. They know the acronym T.E.A.M, Together Everyone Achieves More is not just a simplistic slogan but the key to helping teams thrive and families flourish. Unfortunately, with the increase of incivility in our society, that term has come to represent…Together Everyone Annoys Me.
Facing the Facts
Since 2010, the Weber Shandwick Corporation has done research on Civility in America. Their 2019 report shows, once again, that Americans have a deep concern about the state of civility in our nation. Their results show 93% of Americans identify incivility as a problem, with 68% of our citizens classifying it as a "major" issue in our country. These disturbing facts have changed little since 2010.
"From consumers in the marketplace and students in schools,
to employees in the workplace and voters at the polls,
few are immune to our country's civility crisis."
Andy Polansky, CEO, Weber Shandwick
Their most current report states 9 out of 10 respondents believe incivility creates...cyberbullying, harassment, violence, hate crimes, intimidation and threats, intolerance, and people feeling less safe in public places.
An alarming 80% of people say they experience some kind of uncivil behavior about 10 times per week. This statistic becomes more startling when you acknowledge the fact that the "people" being treated poorly are the individuals we lead and love every day. These "people" are not strangers. They are members of our family, our friends, our co-workers and clients.
When asked, "How do you respond when experiencing uncivil behavior toward you or someone else?", the number one response was to ignore the person or people acting uncivilly.
When asked, "Who is responsible for the lack of civility in our country?", high on the list were social media and the Internet, politicians and the media, conservatives and liberals, Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes.
Click Here to access the "Civility in America 2019: Solutions for Tomorrow" report.
While the people in the survey identified "groups" as cause for the incivility crisis, the solution to this problem lies with you and me.
I'm not suggesting we can command others to live the All For One portion of Three Musketeer's Motto. There is not much any of us can do to change the way large numbers of people use social media, or influence the way politicians, the news media or even our neighbors behave, but everyone reading this message can get better today at the One For All part.
Each day we have a choice regarding how we're going to treat other people. Unfortunately, we're so "busy" so often, we fail to even notice the impact our behavior is having on the people who cross our path; and since we're not being told when we behave badly or ignore the people who want our attention, nothing changes.
My first mentor, W. Clement Stone, used to have a poster in his office that said, "If it is to be it's up to me." While Mr. Stone was a big believer in teamwork, he also knew how important it was to have a sense of urgency to do everything in his power to make his world a better place.
If we want to see the civility in our workplaces, families and communities increase, I suggest we make our Mission in March to be more civil in all our interactions. It's not very hard to do.
To begin, review these positive actions and decide which ones you want to do more often in March. Please don't let the simplicity of these behaviors stop you from making the effort to increase the civility in your world. Little actions, done over time, can have a powerful impact on the quality of someone's life.
Say please, thank you, you're right and I'm sorry more often
Smile and say hello (remember to use people's names)
Have more one-on-one, face-to-face meetings
Increase your phone calls and decrease your texts
Turn off your phone and computer during meetings
Give positive feedback
Be on time
Spread positive gossip
Build people up
Ask for ideas from people with different backgrounds, beliefs and values
Ask for feedback
Ask questions to learn more about different points of view
Look for opportunities to do little acts of kindness
Treat everyone with dignity
Let people finish sharing their point of view
Resolve conflicts respectfully
Take time to really connect with your family and friends
Take time to really connect with your co-workers and clients
If you choose to make your Mission in March to be the one in your workplace, family and community to lift all people up and make all people feel valued and appreciated, your One For All attitude could influence your team to become All For One. When that happens, your world will be a much better place for this and future generations.