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“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 we're not aware of all the people around us who are struggling, 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 you want to see the civility in your workplace, family and community increase, I encourage you to make it your Mission to be more civil in all your interactions.

Fortunatley, being civil in all our conversations is easy to do. Unfortunately, it's also easy not to do.

If you're ready to make your world a better place to work and live, I encourage you to review these positive actions and decide which ones you want to do more often. 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 people's lives.

  1. Say please, thank you, you're right and I'm sorry more often

  2. Smile and say hello (remember to use people's names)

  3. Have more one-on-one meetings

  4. Increase your phone calls and decrease your texts

  5. Turn off your phone and computer during meetings

  6. Give positive feedback

  7. Be on time

  8. Spread positive gossip

  9. Build people up

  10. Ask for ideas from people with different backgrounds, beliefs and values

  11. Ask for feedback

  12. Listen longer

  13. Ask questions to learn more about different points of view

  14. Look for opportunities to do little acts of kindness

  15. Treat everyone with dignity

  16. Let people finish sharing their point of view

  17. Provide encouragement

  18. Resolve conflicts respectfully

  19. Take time to really connect with your family and friends

  20. Take time to really connect with your co-workers and clients

If you choose to make it your MISSION 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 inspire and influence others to become All For One. When that happens, your world will be a much better place for this and future generations.

Let's Get Better. Together!

Bill Durkin

Founder, One Positive Place


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