Civil Discourse and Communication
The harshness of our current political culture has a way of seeping into all aspects of our lives, and yes, even into our work lives.
I find this shift rather disheartening and even disgusting. Harshness means polarization and that means an almost profound lack of communication, respectful or otherwise.
Simply put, it’s about civil discourse. How we communicate with regard to politics should be the same as when we engage our teams and vice versa.
In far too many situations, standing up for one’s self or opinion is done at the expense of caring for others.
There’s been a lot of focus in self-help circles about authenticity, being true to one’s self. That’s fine in theory but when executed, somewhat ham-fisted. I do not believe that standing up for yourself has to mean running roughshod over everyone else.
I’ve noticed that some of the worst drivers on our roads are those with Baby On Board stickers on their rear windows. If your baby is important to you then we should also expect you to be a very good, cautious driver.
It’s not about using the sticker to shift the responsibility for your children’s safety onto fellow drivers. Seeing that sticker signals to me that you are asking us to care for your children as much as you do. That is absolutely wonderful and we will. But you have to as well. When you see that sticker on a vehicle that just cut you off or roared past you on the inside lane, am I the only one who hopes that the baby is NOT on board at that moment – because the care requested by that sticker is not being exercised by that driver.
That driver is also not being respectful to our fellow citizens. This in turn circles us back to civil discourse.
For example, using your views on global warming as a cudgel rather than an incitement to make the world better, is a good example of how not to get your views heard. It’s not about you, it’s about communicating your message to achieve change.
It’s about how we speak to each other, how we communicate our ideas without slamming other’s ideas or even who they are as a person.
The ‘hows’ of communication always win out over ‘what’ you’re communicating. And in fact, it can ensure you’re being heard far more than the presumed veracity of your arguments.
How does the culture of your teams support civil discourse – respectful disagreement? If you believe it could be better we’d love to support that – firstname.lastname@example.org.