Thoughts for the 2nd Half

30 Mar

One of my colleagues is a ‘communication’ consultant. I love talking with her about conflict resolution because communication is so fundamental to resolving our differences, right?

The last time that she and I had the chance to visit, she told me about the National Communication Association’s Credo for Ethical Communication.Communication Symbol

I looked it up and just LOVE some of their principles. So, I thought that I would pick out a couple that resonated with me, in light of the work I am currently doing at the Nevada Legislature. And the fact that we are approaching the “second half” of our session.

We endorse freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, and tolerance of dissent to achieve the informed and responsible decision-making fundamental to a civil society.

Often bills in our legislature have proponents and opponents. Sometimes the differences are minor and can we worked out with a little effort and some minor wording changes.  Other times, the two sides are on the opposite side of a chasm that seems to be too wide to traverse.

This principle encourages us to appreciate the differences, to accommodate the expression of our varying views and to work on being informed to improve our decision-making.

We strive to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to their messages.

It’s so easy to fall in the trap of assuming we know what someone else is going to say. Rather than hearing him/her out, we jump to conclusions and figure we already know the point they are trying to make.  What if we listened before we evaluated their message?

I see this happen often at the legislature, particularly when people have known each other for a while. They stop listening … you can see it happening.

So, as we enter this week, which represents the 1/2 way point of our 120 legislative session, I encourage my colleagues (and me too) to put these principles in practice — particularly when the going gets tough and the more challenging issues are tackled.


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