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Civility Webinar: Relationship Communication + Teamwork

Civility Strategies

The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Capital Crossroads and The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University are hosting Civility Webinars focusing on a variety of civility topics to enhance a culture of excellence in the Greater Des Moines region.

The opening session was led by Scott Raecker, executive director of the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University. He focused on strategies for intentional relationship building, particularly with those who are new and different, along with ground rules for engagement that intentionally establish the conditions needed for positive and productive interactions when working with different personalities, in different contexts and pursuing different goals.

The webinar also reviewed the essential steps for preparing to communicate – respecting and connecting with others, identifying what one wants to achieve and avoid, considering when and where would be the best opportunity to communicate and how to seek win-win outcomes.

Capital Crossroads + Civility

Raecker shared how Greater Des Moines (DSM) organizations have had a collective focus on civility for many years. When the strategic plan for Capital Crossroads was first developed, DSM was the first community in the country where civility rose to an actionable item within the strategic plan of what we aspired to be as a community. This idea has infiltrated all Capital Crossroads partner organizations. Raecker hopes that through the Civility event series, more community members will benefit from the strategies and tools discussed as they take what they learn back to their organizations and businesses.

How + Where to Use Civility Strategies

As executive director of the Ray Center, Raecker works toward a mission of improving civility through character development and ethical leadership. Current challenges include honing in on the meaning of civility. Components of civility include things like kindness and manners, but also include how to have difficult conversations. Raeker said we all need to look at individual actions, including our own character. He references Character Counts and the six pillars of character:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship

Raecker said that the six pillars are the foundational base for civility and for relationship building, leadership and teamwork.

Building an Intentional Culture

Raecker said DSM has a good basis for addressing challenging issues. Here, it happens workplace by workplace and community by community. He pointed out that we must work to connect on a deeper level and move from surface relationships to more substance connections in order to have difficult conversations. He said that having the courage to build relationships with people who are different from you is an important piece of creating civility. Getting to know someone who has different ideas and beliefs doesn’t mean that you must change your own views, but it may affect how you approach certain things and create a more civil discourse. Think about who is an unlikely person for you to get to know. Could you meet with them without any agenda, just to get to know them and grow a relationship built on acceptance rather than preconceived notions? This is the foundation for civility.

Watch the entire webinar below:


Don’t miss upcoming civility webinar events, including the following:

  • Panel Discussion on Civility on Social Media (7:30 a.m. Thursday, April 22)
  • Creating a Civility Action Plan (7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 5)

The Civility Webinar events will discuss civil discourse topics to assist business leaders in creating a culture of excellence.

Find these tips useful? Learn more tricks on how to maximize the potential of your business through The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.