The civil dialogue video provides insight into how civil discussions should be conducted. The speakers in the talk share different opinions about civil dialogue and how it should take place. One of the issues that they seem to agree on is how to conduct civil dialogue and get results at the end. For instance, Joe mentions that civility is not all about being polite and at times people are called upon to be assertive which is key factor in civility. When engaging others, especially those with different opinions it is important to be respectful and at the same time not compromise on the position that one stands for. It is also good to recognize that different sides of the political divide are interested in achieving almost the same thing through policies. However, it is the path that they take that differs. These views are consistent with my belief that other people’s opinion should be respected. It is also important to establish what the end goals are so that people are held accountable during civil discussions based on how they answer questions.
The participants were very effective in fostering civility amongst themselves. The session started off with Joe making introductory remarks and then proceeding to let other members also make their introductions. One of the most notable strategies that the participants used to foster civility amongst themselves is through listening and responding to each other. When engaging in civil dialogue it is important that one is able to respect the opinion of others but at the same time be able to give their input. According to Peggy asking a deep question is one of the ways in which people encourage dialogue. The participants were able to use this exact tactic when engaging each other in the discussion. For example, when one speaker was done talking, there would be a follow-up question or additional comments from one of the panel members indicating that they communicating effectively.
Throughout the dialogue there were no major disagreements. However, the participants did have different viewpoints in regards to certain matters. A good example is when dealing with the first question that dealt with Hillary Clinton’s accusation that the president violated the norms of civility in his talk. Valerie and Mary hold very different viewpoints in regards to this matter. While Mary thinks that the way public officials conduct themselves models the limits of democratic discourse, Valerie seems to have a different opinion. However, she presents her ideas in a subtle manner and is adamant that this might be looking at the wrong people to set directions. She is however, respectful and her comments don’t seem to be directed towards those that had a different opinion. She is talking from her own point of view and appears to very respectful even when she holds a contrary opinion.
The participants were keen in listening to each other. Throughout the dialogue, they engaged each other with questions, comments and even challenged the opinions of others respectfully. Effective listening means that one can make follow up questions that connect to the previous dialogue topic. One of the instances where effective listening can be noted when one the participants as a question about how to be informed about issues. As Peggy takes this question head on, we can see that he starts taking notes and shows keen interest on how the question is being answered. The conversation is also enhanced when Valerie makes her contribution having been following closely what others had been saying. She also refers to an earlier instance when Fred had said that people should be held accountable showing that she had been listening effectively.
The talk has taught me a lot about civil dialogue and how it should be maintained. It is clear from the dialogue that there are rules to engaging in civil dialogue especially when topics are controversial and debate can get heated. One of most effective strategies that I learned from the talk is that people should avoid falling into conversational traps that result from anger. It is importance to realize that in civil discussions other parties are not our enemies. In todays polarized political world people are increasingly divided and when others don’t agree with them they get angry. However, this can be solved by finding out what motivates people and speaking to it. It is also important to know that the country comes before any political parties or personalities and it is only by genuinely talking to people about our concerns that we can solve problems. Lastly it is important to know what other people want so that we are able to make compromises together when engaging in civil dialogue.