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Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy

Agreeing to Disagree | A Look at Civility in Political Discussion

ICDD Project Coordinator Donna Schenck-Hamlin was interviewed for a K-State video on civility by Matthew Blomberg, News Specialist at the Division of Communications and Marketing. "Agreeing to Disagree" examines what civility means in the context of political discourse, and offers some tips for successfully talking, even with disagreement, about current issues. Civility is described as intentional, involving an awareness that the way you interact with someone should not be designed to make them feel insecure. Willingness to repeat or continue a conversation can be measures of a successful interaction. Donna highlights ICDD principles such as expecting and exploring difference while looking for common ground at the same time. "We ... think too often of conversation as a one-off event, and politics as a zero-sum game. It's not," she claims. "Issues are never over, ...so willingness to improve our performance in continuing the conversation is probably the best thing that can happen."