top of page
  • Writer's pictureChristine Hassing


Updated: Aug 1, 2018

“A minimal ‘ought’ of learning – the importance of knowing one’s own ground and the ground of Others informs continuing conversations” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, p. xvii). “It is the oughtness that gives a persuasive tone to a communication ethic. The good persuades the communicator, and then the communicator takes that good, or a particular understanding of that good, into persuasive engagement with others who reciprocate with their own articulation of a good that may or may not be consistent with the original communicator’s good” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, p. 41).

I have a vision to integrate death into life, though the “how” continues to reveal itself. I anticipate it will for a life-time. In ORGL 615: Leadership Ethics one of our assignments was this:

Identify and examine one specific example where a public issue (such as immigration, environment regulation, minimum wage, etc.) that requires collaborative decision-making has been discussed in media, by advocacy groups, or in personal contexts. Is the issue presented or framed in terms that are dialogic? From the standpoint of dialogic ethics, is the argument or deliberation itself ethical? Support your analysis with evidence from your example and the readings (2 pages). Discuss the impact of dialogic communication or its lack on the (potential or actual) decision-making process and decision (2 pages). Suggest what advocates or others present at the debate or discussion did or might do to create dialogic and ethical deliberation (2 pages).

I chose euthanasia with a paper titled “A Time to Die: Who Can Decide When?” Nudged by my increased awareness (as highlighted in another summary of this folder Servant-Leadership), I wrote my reason for choosing this topic:

Not one historically to follow public issues in the media, I first self-reflected on an issue that mattered to me. Then I researched debates I could observe for how dialogic or non-dialogic communication took place. I knew that observing a debate was not only important for discussion in this paper; it would also help further shape my own stance. “First, be a learner and a listener – attend to content/ ground that shapes your own discourse” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, p. 90). “Taking one’s watch beings with a single assertion – showing up and participating is a given in communication ethics” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, p. 7).

In observation through my research it led me to greater listening skills, increased awareness, and to a vow. I increased my listening and awareness to the power of tone of voice, the power of a word interjected in a statement or question, the power of asking questions instead of stating, or not asking questions and only stating. My intention (vow) is that I will always remember to be an observer in my own dialogic exchanges so that I can see how I am influencing the dialogue with openness, or how I am about to shut it down. May I, “when monologue and technical dialogue come [my] way” continue to seek learning first (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, p. 90). May I always see and see again, to listen to what is being communicated that isn’t being spoken, for in doing so, I will better learn how I can bridge differences, or at least honor the differences in another. “The way people talk about their lives is significant, that the language they use and the connections they make reveal the world that they see and in which they act” (Stewart, p. 114). “Genuine openness is an authentic receptivity to learning about others’ views, values, and codes of conduct. It requires a commitment to considering others on their terms, not just our own” (Wood, p. 18).

Arnett, R. C., Fritz, J. M. H., Bell, L. M. (2009) Communication Ethics Literacy. Thousand

Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Stewart, L. P. (1997). Facilitating connections: Issues of gender, culture, and diversity. In

Makau, J. M., & Arnett, R. C. (Eds.), Communication ethics in an age of diversity (pp.

110-125). Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Wood, J. (1997). Diversity in dialogue: Commonalities and differences between friends. In J. M. Makau, & R. C. Arnett (Eds.), Communication ethics in an age of diversity (pp. 5-26).

Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page