In a display of civility, baboons sit in hot pools.

Foster Civility. A High School Student Teaches: THINK Before Speaking.

How much of the rhetoric we hear in the media is bitter and mean? A local high school student describes a solution to help students, and the rest of us, learn the art of civility, in part by using the THINK strategy before speaking. Craig Ritzman won an essay contest sponsored by Westminster College and was featured in the Salt Lake Tribune 11/19/2017.

 A High School Student Teaches Civility: THINK Before Speaking.

Read Mr. Ritzman’s essay at The Salt Lake Tribune. I want to cover an important take-away, the acronym THINK.

The THINK strategy consists simply of asking, before you speak, whether your words reflect True/thoughtful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind. Though an early part of his curriculum, this simple approach would change the culture of political discussion and lead to more helpful compromises.

A Higher Standard

In addition to practicing THINK ourselves, we could help force change by using it to evaluate the statements of others and hold them and their words to a higher standard.

I encourage you to use this tool in your self assessment and the evaluation of political statements, particularly before sharing:

THINK – Are the words and actions…

Civility by THINKing Rubric

Evaluate a tweet, statement, or comment, and then share the score. Make an even greater contribution by adding your own THINKful words to the evaluation.

Let’s take back civil discourse!

Next Steps

Feel free to share this tool. It need not be used exactly to be helpful. But, it’s an easy way to help others to recognize that words have impact.

The THINK acronym relates also to the 5P Engagement Scale.

Subscribe for free to get the latest from Head4Knowledge and download a spreadsheet tool of the THINK rubric.


Photo by Matthew Kane on Unsplash.

Craig Ritzman’s Commentary in the Salt Lake Tribune.