The Power of Civility to Supercharge Your Personal Brand


30x30x30 Blogathon Post #27:  June 27th – Yasmin Anderson-Smith

Day 27 of the Personal Branding Blogathon welcomes a post from Yasmin Anderson-Smith about the importance of civility in personal branding.  Civility, or “gracious goodness,” is certainly a crucial component of our personal brand, but can be overlooked or simply taken for granted in the brand discovery process. Yasmin, however, is leading a movement to ensure that civility is interwoven into our personal brands and how we relate to our brand community. Make sure to visit Yasmin’s site to learn more about how she empowers emerging professional women to profit from embracing civility in their personal brand, appearance, and communication.

Enjoy Yasmin’s post and download her free civility white paper below!


The 30x30x30 Blogathon is happening every day in June! Click here to add to your feed, and you won’t miss a day!



The Power of Civility to Supercharge Your Personal Brand

In a recent interview on MSNBC television show, Your Business, marketing guru, Seth Godin shared insights on what marketers need to do today to be more successful.

Seth offered that marketers should be less self-absorbed and have more clarity, generosity and humility.  He also commented that “no one owes you their attention” and that marketers need to tell stories (not pitch slogans) that resonate with their audiences.   I immediately began thinking how Seth’s comments interrelated with my own views on the power of civility and image to supercharge our image and personal brands.

While there’s universal agreement that clarity is one of the three hallmarks of great personal brands (along with consistency and authenticity), humility and generosity are not widely touted as attributes needed for success in today’s global business environment.  How inspiring and refreshing to hear this from Seth Godin, and how potentially amazing is the connection between personal branding and civility which embraces humility, generosity and selflessness.

The Human Side of Personal Branding

Civility is a way of life.  It is about a mindset, having conscious intent, being non-judgmental and consistently demonstrating respectful, considerate, kind, responsible, assertive, ethical, generous and humble conduct in our interpersonal relationships.

“Civility augments the human side of personal branding.”  Tweet This!

It builds trust and fosters happy, smooth and harmonious relationships that are so critical to building successful personal brands.

Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility, The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct, St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 2002, defines civility simply as “gracious goodness.”  A longer definition of civility in this book states,

“Civility means a great deal more than just being nice to one another.  It is complex and encompasses learning how to connect successfully and live well with others, developing   thoughtfulness and fostering effective self-expression and communication. Civility includes courtesy, politeness, mutual respect, fairness, good manners, as well as a matter of good health……..”

Research by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath and the writings of civility expert, Lew Bayer report on the huge costs to businesses associated with incivility in the workplace due to tarnished reputations, lower productivity, weakened performance and diminished commitment among employees.

Let’s consider these questions:

  • What does being selfless, humble and generous have to do with building a successful personal brand?
  • How can we show more generosity, humility and be less self-absorbed in our fast-paced, overwhelmed everyday lives?
  • Are you known as a giver or having a commitment to building community?
  • Does growing your personal brand mean always boasting about your talents and achievements while overlooking the contributions of your colleagues or employees?

I purport that the answer lies in the meaning and practice of civility and how it can supercharge our personal brands, elevate our image and strengthen our commitment to community.  It’s about making time to do even small acts of kindness and consideration like publicly acknowledging a colleague, offering a sincere apology, volunteering or sending a written thank you note.  These low or no-cost steps are self-defining and empowering, both individually and collectively.  In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, it is these quality, not-about-me actions and human connections that help forge meaningful, distinctive and lasting relationships.  Please click here for ten steps to supercharge your personal brand with civility.

It’s All About Relationships

In the book The Power of Civility, Thrive Publishing, 2011, I make the point that being successful in business is all about our relationships.  Happy relationships are at the nexus of civility and a positive image and therefore both are intimately connected with managing our personal brand for success.   Our image and brand continually create impressions on others based on how we treat them, our communication, attire, and behavior.  In business and social settings. It is our manners, ethics, use of protocol, commitment to service and giving back to community that determine the quality of our relationships and our personal brands.  For more on the image and branding perspective on civility in business click this link for a free white paper


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About the author

Yasmin Anderson-Smith Yasmin Anderson-Smith, AICI CIP, CPBS is known as a global voice for the power of image, personal branding and civility through her speaking, training and community initiatives. Often misunderstood, civility is essential to building the trust and respect needed for positive relationships in business and social. Yasmin empowers business women and young professionals to stand out with distinction by helping them build confidence, credibility and civility in their appearance, communications and behavior.