How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable
The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast features a conversation between experts on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector.
In this installment of the DSM USA Policy HQ podcast, Scott Raecker, Executive Director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, and Joseph Jones, former Executive Director of The Harkin Institute and Member of the Windsor Heights City Council, discuss how local politicians and business owners can be effective through civil discourse.
Why Civility Matters in 2022
Leading into the Nov. 8, 2022 Election, the question of civility in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community, in politics and in workplaces is something that is at the forefront of conversation with questions like: How do we hold different priorities and still see a common bond? The ability to have hard conversations without personalizing it and diminishing the other person is key. Raecker and Jones agree that having the ability to practice tough conversations and build relationships prior to those conversations will help bring about more solutions so the community can move forward.
Creating an Environment for Candid Conversations
To have candid conversations, consider finding ‘thinking partners’ who allow you to hear out the other side. Raecker said it’s the little things that mean the most. Each of us has an opportunity to form relationships out of our comfort zone that are without agenda. Find ways to uplift and support each other.
On the business side, organizational leaders can lead the way with their own actions towards frontline staff, their leadership teams, etc. through acknowledgement and delegation. Jones said that it doesn’t have to be a top-down effort and that everyone should feel empowered to model civility. Live your business’ values, and don’t tolerate anything outside of your spectrum of values.
Raecker and Jones shared several strategies for creating civility in government processes:
Start with being solely responsible for your own actions.
- Have good intentions.
- Know resolutions must happen to move forward.
- Lead by example.
- Bring people with you to the table to have conversations. In a very partisan time, you need people to express what they want, but have decorum as you discuss issues.
- Take a moment to step back and think about other people’s “whys.”
- Invest time in relationships off social media.
- Turn to local resources.
- Assume the best of intentions of people. Encourage public servants to get to know each other.
Listen to the entire podcast above.
The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast focuses on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector. Join us each month to hear from local Greater Des Moines (DSM) experts. To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here.