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The Need of Innovation

If corporations want to remain in the forefront and thriving, than innovation and flexibility to the current demands of the market will be key. In business, innovation often results when the company applies ideas in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers. Therefore, innovation is synonymous with risk-taking and organizations that create revolutionary products or technologies take on the greatest risk because they create new markets (Business Dictionary)

The epitome of innovation by today’s standards would be technology giant, Apple. At present, Apple has the so-called “Innovation Factory”. Through the latter, Apple is able to harness uncontrolled creativity. Their team of specialists is able to come up with new innovations that are profitable through stimulating bold ideas (Innovation Strategy at Apple).

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However, in order for Apple to be seen as innovative, they had to first create an environment where creativity and freethinking could thrive among it’s employees. According to Peter Senge (1990), developing a learning organization requires a major “shift of mind” toward a more participative and holistic notion of effective organizing (Eisenberg, Trethewey, LeGreco, & Goodall, 2017, p. 112).

As an entrepreneur, and creativity consultant, I would argue that any corporation would need to do at least 3 of the following if they plan on benefitting from the rewards of innovation…(1) The ability to create a culture of innovation, (2) Re-humanizing the work, and (3) Maximizing current talent (Forbes Coaches Council, 2017). I believe each of these concepts is necessary for an organization to thrive in today’s market.

Let’s look at the first suggestion, regarding creating a culture of innovation. Employees have to be able to feel like the environments in which they work, are conducive for coming up with ideas that are not regulated and or restricted by management. Dialogue “starts with the willingness to challenge our own thinking, to recognize that any certainty we have is, at best, a hypothesis about the world” (Senge, 1990, p. 277).

When we examine what Re-humanizing the work looks like, it revolves around monopolizing a safe space for creating ideas. Innovation is born of creativity and vulnerability. People need to feel safe to fail in order to be both creative and vulnerable. Therefore, ensure all leadership, including the CIO, keeps humanity at the center of the work. Build trust intentionally, prioritize learning, create inclusive development space, and model behavior that illuminates the humanity of risk and failure (Forbes Coach Council, 2017). Ultimately, there is no reward without risk, and people cannot be afraid of failing if a corporation is looking to reap rewards from the services it generates and or produces.

Lastly, what good is an organization that creates a culture of innovation and humanization, only to have its top talent leave due to lack of personal incentives that reflect their hard work? Ironically, this is essentially where maximizing talent comes into play; otherwise, management will spend the bulk of their time training new talent rather than improving training for existing talent. Karl Weick addresses this in his Sense – Making model through retention. By “retention” Weick means that successful sense-making strategies get saved for future use (Eisenberg, Trethewey, LeGreco, & Goodall, 2017, p. 113). Often the challenge is not having innovative people or ideas, but rather identifying the people and ideas. Many of the best innovations percolate from the bottom to the top of organizations. Hence, organizations can best foster innovation and collaboration by having a culture of knowledge sharing (Forbes Coaches Council, 2017).

Interesting enough, the same way that plants are only able to thrive and grow in certain settings via room temperature, sunlight, and water, is a parallel look at how people need certain factors to be present in their work environments to be successful also.

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Resources:

Business Dictionary, 2019, Retrieved from

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/innovation.html

Eisenberg, E., Trethewey, A., LeGreco, M., Goodall, H. L., (2017). Organizational

Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint, (8th Ed). Boston MA; Bedford/St. Martins.

Forbes Coaches Council, 2017, “What can your Organization do to become more       Innovative” Retrieved from

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescoun          cil/2017/07/13/what-can-your-organization-do-to-become-more-   innovative/amp/

Marketing Slides, “Innovation Strategy at Apple”, Retrieved from http://sales-        management-slides.com/innovation-strategy-at-apple/

 

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We Like Big Butts and we Cannot Lie…At least not on Social Media

If you casually scroll through any of your social media, specifically Facebook or Instagram, then there’s a high probability that you will see some form of push to promote a cosmetic product and or service. This influence can be as subtle as a major cosmetic brand urging you to purchase their new lipstick, or as aggressive as a cosmetic facility offering lower prices than their competitors for the same surgical enhancements. It’s evidence that plastic surgery, once reserved for the rich and famous, is now more mainstream, safer and accessible, according to New York plastic surgeon Dr. Alan Matarasso (Rossman, S, 2017). However, no matter what the promotion is, the agenda and backstory remains the same; looks matter…and they matter even more so when social media has a handle on influencing your definition of beauty.

two person doing surgery inside room
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To explore this premise, I conducted a rhetorical textural analysis on how our psychological need to belong and be a part of the “in crowd”, is often manifested and sometimes exploited through social media platforms. The average millennial takes over 25,000 selfies in his or her lifetime, which is astronomical and one of the major reasons for self esteem issues in teens (Paul, K. 2018). Social media has helped to create a culture that defines what the current beauty standards are, and or should be. Anthropologist

Marshall Sahlins (1976) defines culture as meaningful orders of people and things. Whenever people create groups or communities, a culture inevitably develops. We learn about a culture not only by what its members say, but also by what they do regularly and the things they choose to display in connection with their work (Eisenberg, Trethewey, LeGreco, & Goodall, 2017, p.125).

According to Edgard Schein (1991), culture is defined by six formal properties: (1) shared basic assumptions that are (2) invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it (3) learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration in ways that (4) have worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore (5) can be taught to new members of the group as the (6) correct way to perceive, thin, and feel in relation to those problems (p. 131).

The Sociocultural tradition focuses on patterns of interaction between people rather than on individual characteristics or mental models. Interaction is the process and site in which meanings, roles, rules, and cultural values are worked out. Although individuals do process information cognitively, this tradition is much less interested in the individual level of communication. Instead, researchers in this tradition want to understand ways in which people together create the realities of their social groups, organizations, and cultures. The categories used by individuals to process information are socially created in communications, according to the sociocultural tradition (Littlejohn & Foss, 2011, p. 55).

Therefore, the general argument is that persuasion relies on social connections and cultural assumptions that set the standards for what is considered correct or trustworthy, and that social media, particularly social network sites, have unique rhetorical effects on persuasive acts. While it is possible to argue that networks, social or otherwise, have always influenced communications (Darnton, 1995), because of the ease with which social media articulate social networks (Boyd & Ellison, 2007), communication via social media is more susceptible to network effects and these effects create unique persuasive possibilities (Noor Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2011, p. 28-29).

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To better understand the correlation between social media influence and how it impacts our desire to belong, I recently reviewed a surge in a particular cosmetic procedure called the “Brazilian Butt Lift”, also known as “BBL”, through a series of Instagram posts. This procedure involves the removal of excess fat from the hips, abdomen, lower back, or thighs with liposuction, and a portion of that fat is then strategically injected into the buttocks (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, 2019). While in more antiquated historical periods, a larger derriere or more curvaceous figure would be shunned or regarded as outside the cultural norm, in today’s society it is praised and places women who have the ideal body measurements of 36-24-36 as the industry standard of beauty. This is significant, because as social media becomes more of a dominant presence in our everyday lives, it reshapes not only how we see ourselves but others also. Therefore, as presented here in my research studies, it becomes obvious that with every Instagram post on cosmetic surgery or the hash tag #bbl, the normalcy of obtaining cosmetic surgery to meet ones physical desires starts to seem more like a trip to the dentist than a major life altering procedure.

For additional information, on theoretical framework and methodology, click hereWe Like Big Butts and We Cannot Lie

Resources:

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. (2019).What is a Brazilian Butt Lift? Retrieved

https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body-procedures/brazilian-butt-lift/

Eisenberg, E., Trethewey, A., LeGreco, M., Goodall, H. L., (2017). Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint; (8th Ed) .Boston MA; Bedford/St. Martins.

LittleJohn, S.W. and Foss, K.A. (2011) Theories of Human Communication, Long

Grove, IL, Waveland Press

Noor Al-Deen, H.S. and Hendricks, J.A., (2012) Social Media: Usage and Impact,

Lanham, M.D., Lexington Books

Paul, K. (2018). More than 200,000 teens had Plastic Surgery last year, and Social

            Media had a lot to do with it. Retrieved from

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/should-you-let-your-teenager-get-plastic      surgery-2018-08-29

Rossman, S. (2017). Americans are Spending more than ever on Plastic Surgery.

Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/12/americans-spending-more-than-ever-plastic-surgery/100365258/

 

 

 

 

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Classic Management: To be or Not to be?

When you look at the landscape for most businesses and corporations today, it would be practically impossible not to see the classic management style in full effect. This is because this type of organizational structure has dominated the workforce since the inception of slavery. Interestingly enough, the authors indicate that the actual blueprint for this model had emerged by 1832. Which is pretty significant since it taps into the fact that the classic organizational model had been around long enough at that point to have surpassed the early growing pains of trial and error and gone on to be a consistent practice among many as a foundation layout for the general workforce. Characterized by a strict division of labor (the separation of tasks into discrete units) and hierarchy (the vertical arrangement of power and authority that distinguished managers from employees) this organization form would become the “classical theory” of management (Eisenberg, Goodall, LeGreco, & Trethewey, 2017, p. 68) Classic management focuses on the simple yet practical notion that in order to perform the tasks at hand, labor is not only needed but required. The larger the organization the more complex and intense the hierarchy becomes; however, the general makeup of the organization never changes much from top to bottom.

Based on the history of the classic organizational structure and considering the fact that it has been in existence for almost two-hundred plus years; it would be almost unnecessary to state the fact that this model will undoubtedly continue and not cease any time in the soon to near future. Partly because as previously noted, this model is the blueprint for labor driven organizations. It is what sets the stage for separation of hierarchy between those who set the rules, and those who must obey them.

Take for example Bank of America, the second largest banking institution in the United States, which is headquartered here in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This institution represents the hierarchal structural landscape of a classic organization. It depicts the CEO and manager at the very top, along with the board of directors; followed by mid level management, which trickles down to the lower level employees. Decisions are made at the top, yet the impact and the actual labor of those decisions are done by those at the bottom. Ironically, the lower level employees have the most control on the success of an organization, because those are the individuals who interact with the consumer on a daily basis. They shape the perception of the company in the public’s view based on continual interaction with those they encounter habitually, such as customer service representatives, bank tellers, loan officers, and etc.

The classic organizational style appears to be beneficial for large organizations such as Bank of America; as it is necessary to maintain a sense of control and balance amongst management and employee. Because there are so many employees across the board in different lines of businesses, than structure has to be established in order to ensure that work is handled accordingly. Without this model, it could possibly create confusion regarding how work is done and who is responsible for reporting that information back up to the chain of command. At this point, I’m not even certain that any other model would be as impactful as the current one in place.

Now let’s look at some of the approaches and contributions made by those as it pertains to the classic organizational structure.

Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management: is based on the assumption that management is a true science resting on clearly defined laws, rules, and principle. Taylor divided work into discrete units and observed workers as they labored, measuring their productivity and using the output and speed of the top performers to set productivity standards for all doing that job. Taylor’s goal was to transform the nature of both work and management (Eisenberg, Goodall, LeGreco, & Tretheway, 2017, p. 73)

Pros: Taylor’s time and motion studies led to improved organizational efficiency through the mechanization of labor and the authority of the clock.

Pros: Many working families adopt a scientific management approach in their efforts to give order to their busy lives. Scientific management in essence creates straightforward structure between management and employee.

Cons: Taylor’s model ushered in a systematic approach to the division of labor that has gone far beyond the design of work for which it was originally developed. Scientific management created a firm division between managers, whose task was to plan and control the design of work, and employees, whose job was to implement those plans. In short, scientific management assumed that some employees are better suited to “thinking” work and some to “doing” work, ultimately laying the groundwork for the class-based distinction between white collar and blue collar employees that we know today (Eisenberg, Goodall, LeGreco, & Trethewey, 2017, p 73)

Cons: This theory does not take into account human motivations for working, personal work relationships, or the flexibility required by the turbulent nature of organizational environments (p. 74).

This model does not work well for employees as it creates more division than unity amongst the two working alliances. The ideal that separating job functionality and creating specifications that some employee’s are more prone to “think” while others are needed to “do” implies that the same level does not need to be exerted and evenly distributed across the board…especially when it comes to positions that are more manual or physical. It is the fastest way to show “whose boss”, and “whose not”.

Fayol’s Classical Management: articulates the five elements of classical management: planning, organizing, commanding (goal setting), coordinating, and controlling (evaluating). Fayol prescribed a strict hierarchy with a clear vertical chain of command; he called this the scalar principle. He believed that each employee should have only one boss and should be accountable to only one plan (p. 74).

Pros: Advocates for the centralization of decision-making and respect for authority; yet discipline and obedience could only be expected if both position and character were present. Discipline is a part of respect for agreed-on rules, and not solely based on position.

Pros: The value of a stable workforce; which decreases a high turnover rate and recruitment costs (p. 75).

Cons:  Employees have to have the knowledge and wherewithal on how to balance their own personal interests in conjunction with that of the company.  This could possibly blur lines; and lead to questioning regarding that of authority.

Weber’s Advocacy for Bureaucracy: the goal of universalism, which sought to introduce standards of fair treatment in the workplace. Most people today associate bureaucracy with red tape and inflexibility of public agencies (p. 77).

Pros: A rigid separation of personal life from work life, a fixed division of labor among participants, A set of general rules that govern performance, the selection of personnel on the basis of technical qualifications and equal treatment of all employees, a hierarchy of offices, and participants view of employment as a career; tenure protecting against unfair arbitrary dismissal (p. 77)

Cons: It is not impossible to rid organizations of all extra organizational influences on member behaviour, bureaucracy does not deal well with nonroutine tasks; and people vary in terms or rationality.

In conclusion, it is my belief that although the classic management style is still viable due to being embedded into the current work organization; it will not always be an integral part of it. Primarily because as times change, so does the organizational makeup of business. More people are leaving corporate America to focus on building their own dreams and by doing so they build smaller more intimate work relationships with employees; as they cut out some of the middle men within the chain of command. Organizations will have to remain flexible with ensuring that they meet their visionary goals without compromising the relationship of those that get them there.

Resources:

Eisenberg, E., Trethewey, A., LeGreco, M., Goodall, H. L., (2017). Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint; (8th Ed) .Boston MA; Bedford/St. Martins

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What Happens Next?

As this course draws closer to a close; one of the final blog questions posed was “What steps can I take to apply the information obtained, to my community, personal life, professional career, etc”

And although that question is not a hard one; it is one that makes you sit back and think about the application of it all. Naturally the premise behind deciding to go back to school and obtain my Master in Communications; had to do with wanting to embrace the change world of communications. That reasoning was not solely from a journalistic perspective, but as I became more engulfed in my profession career, I saw the need for an increase in dialogue amongst not only peers but those in management also. There seemed to be a lack of attentiveness, and understanding coupled with an increase in miscommunication and partial listening.  Not to mention once you throw in more methods of how to communication with others; you lose some of the authenticity and true value in “What” is been communicated.

The following steps are going to be key in applying my learning to all of the avenues mentioned prior….

  1. Willingness & Openness to challenging my own “good” at times. As we grow up, we we are sometimes taught and believe that our way is the only right way; when in actuality parents should teach kids that “your way is not the only way”. Words have meaning, and it also subconsciously gives us the mentality that our methods and understanding supersedes that of others. Be secure in who you are; without the automatic rejection or undermining the goods of others. One must learn about the goods of self and others that we and others seek to protect and promote. We are not obligated to assist all people with the goods that they pursue, but we are obligated to acknowledge those goods within the framework of the Other (Arnett, Fritz, and Bell, 2009, p. 5) In essence, communication ethics takes on pragmatic currency; we must learn about other views of the good with recognition that, like it or not, multiple views of the good exit and contend for attention in the ongoing postmodern marketplace of ideas (p. 211).
  2. Being able to move past difference. It is clear in every aspect of life whether personal or professional, that you will ultimately disagree with another being at some point. And at times those conversations can become intense as both parties hold on to the goods they desire and deem are worth fighting for. However, it is essential that individuals look past simply their own goods, and address what the common goal may be. First, cease using ethics as a weapon; disagreement should not immediately move us into referring to an opponent as unethical. Second, embrace the necessity of learning as we meet diverse ethical positions contrary to our own with the assumption that learning does not necessarily mean agreement (p. 209). We have to be cognitive of the fact; that unfamiliar does not equate to wrong or unethical.

I think these two principles will be key to engaging and being agents of change in all aspects of our lives. America is steadily changing, and as the world in which we know changes, we have to change and grow with it. These two outlooks; being open to the good of others, and being able to move past difference; help push us towards change. They don’t work in isolation, but are necessary in conjunction to get us to the point we so desperately need to become effective contributing members of society.

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Have you ever been Sick?

Being ill or sick; and requiring the assistance of others is a hard pill to swallow if you’re like myself and very much independent. Depending on the magnitude of your illness, it can ultimately require you to rely significantly on other people in order to be nursed back to health.

This past June, I had to have a major surgery called a myomectomy in order to remove a series of fibroids from my womb. For those who are unaware of what a myomectomy is, the best way I can describe it is…it’s like having a c-section minus the baby. And I’ve never had a baby; but purely based on the surgical cut alone; I’m certain the two surgical procedures are akin. Fibroids tend to be more common in African American women; and it possible that is due to several factors such as genetics, vitamin D deficiency, red meat intake, etc. I chose to have a myomectomy as that was the only option that preserves my womb, “if” or “when” I decide to carry a child.

This weeks blog focuses on what responsive communicative actions from others were helpful or unhelpful during my time of need. Health care communication ethics protects and promotes care, human caring of one another, in a professional context and in all contexts where decisions affect the quality of life and, all too often, life itself. The importance of responsiveness points to a particular view of caring, one that calls forth our engagement with the human condition, requiring something of us – care (Arnett, Fritz, and Bell, 2009, p.198)

The surgery was so extensive that it required me to be out of work for 6 wks in order to fully recover. During that time, my Mother came up to assist me with daily household tasks along with ensuring that I was not physically over extending myself. What I found was that certain actions she displayed tended to be more helpful to me as I recovered. One of them being her sense of attentiveness to my needs. Major surgeries are not only physically demanding, but often times they are mentally draining as well. To climb back to health from a moment of inconvenience or a deep abyss as a patient or a caregiver requires more than physical strength alone (p.199). My mothers compassion to tending to both my physical and emotional needs during that time allowed me to heal beyond a physical sense.

What I’ve noticed is that often times people can become insensitive towards the health of others. They often place inconsiderate or unrealistic expectations on them; which does more harm than good. Proper healing is necessary for the soul; as it gives both the mind and body a chance to recoup simultaneously from what could be deemed as a tragic experience.  People must be reminded to be sensitive of the needs of other people. Care is a necessity of the human condition. Even in daily discourse , we hear acts of not caring described as “inhuman”. To be human is to care; the labor of care is a necessity of our identity. Health care communication ethics reminds us of a necessity – the labor of care (p.199).

Dialogic ethics as discussed in Chapter 11, requires that we continue to evaluate ourselves with regard to our relationships with others. We must continue to self examine   our needs without failing to be cognitively aware and embrace the needs of others around us. The communicator who is responsive, understands the labor of care, and is tenacious when optimism fails, taking up, instead, a gritty sense of hope that stands firm in a final freedom. There is no technique driven answer, but there is hope when caring finds response in health care communication ethics (p. 206)

We must all remember that care is a necessary good because as surely as we care for others, one day someone will have to return the same favor to us also…

 

Hospital Stays 🙂

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References:

Arnett, R.C., Bell, L.M., Fritz, J., (2009) Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue                       and Difference, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications

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“Community of Memory”

Chapter 8 of our reading from the book Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference; focuses on Community of Memory and Dwelling. It is here that we are introduced to what community of memory is, and how organizations are the holders of it. Robert Bellah and his co-authors describe the terminology as an organizations sense of consciousness, retaining what that organization deems as good. A community of memory within an organization frames it’s identity and its political life. From a communications ethics perspective; organizations offer places to participate, belong, play, and work; they situate our lives, giving meaning beyond our individual selves (Arnett, Fritz, & Bell, 2009, p. 145).

This weeks blog post required us to recall a time when difference within an organization served as or produced a “rhetorical interruption”. A rhetorical interruption is simply a communicative event that disrupts our sense of the routine (p. 163)

I immediately reflected upon a time when my work life required some significant changes; which happened to be a challenge for me. Being employed with any organization you have to be flexible with change; however, that doesn’t always necessarily mean you agree with it. After being employed with the same company for over 4yrs and rising in the ranks from associate to manager; I found myself in a precarious situation at the end of 2014. My then manager at the time Scott, had informed me that our line of business was restructuring and I was not only losing my entire team; but I would also be working with a group that i wasn’t accustomed to.

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Now this was definitely a disruption to my entire routine; as I had built strong bonds with each of my direct employee’s and I was use to working with the management team that I had been a part of since 2011. This disruption required a mental shift in how I operated, in order to prevent myself from becoming a pessimist about the hierarchy change. I went from having a support system of 8 other individuals, to suddenly just becoming a sole individual contributor. When you work with people everyday you develop substantial bonds. Part of the struggle for me was not the change in title; but the changes that were going to impact my role and job functionality. I had to work on a series of projects I was not familiar with, so I lost my sense of work stability.

From a professional standpoint, this change could also be viewed as an internal culture shock; as it was a disruption to my normal work routine (p. 156). Two behaviors that had to coexist in order for me to have a more positive outlook about the matter were Evaluation of self, and application of listening within Dialogic of ethics. One practice required me to become attentive to the ongoing premise of learning something new.  Fear can sometime cause uneasiness, so I had to evaluate my circumstances to remove fear and see a world of new possibilities with the change in role. The other practice is that Dialogic ethics listens to what is before communicative partners who are culturally different from one another, attends to the historical moment, and seeks to negotiate new possibilities. I realized ultimately, that I “HAD” to embrace the change if I wanted to continue growing professionally. The caveat to me being in the same role for so long is that I had become complacent in my professional growth development; and this change forced growth upon me.

We cannot change events, but our telling, our way of making meaning of those events, does change with time, highlighting particular understandings of the good in organizational life. It is not simply “what happened” that matters, but our public “meaning making” of that event, which can and does shift ver time, that reveals our understanding for the relations of organizational events to the goods that are protected and promoted (p. 146)

References

Bellah, R. N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W. M., Swidler, A., & Tipton, S. M. (1985). Habits of the   heart: Individualism and commitment in American life. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Arnett, R.C., Bell, L.M., Fritz, J., (2009) Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue                       and Difference, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments Can be Telling….

Review any article on most major news websites and you will surely find that the substantial division in America can be reflected in the commentary.

Recently there was an issue in which CNN journalist Jim Acosta, had his press pass revoked by the President; after a heated debate occurred between the two one day prior. Upon questioning, the White House stated that the reason for the pass being revoked was due to him assaulting an intern who was attempting to regain control of the microphone from Acosta during the press conference. In an effort to push that agenda. a doctor clip of the incident to sped up of the incident.  However, anyone who reviewed the actual footage could see that no assault of the sorts happened…not even close to one.

CNN then decided to file a lawsuit against the White House, as this was deemed to be an attack on First Amendment rights. On Friday a judge agreed and ruled in the favor of CNN; and therefore ordered the temporary reinstatement of his press pass by the White House.

Now despite CNN being viewed by some as more liberal leaning, the commentary by readers highlighted just how polarized our current political climate his become. One commentator stated “I refuse to watch CNN ever again until Acosta is fired. He thinks he can do whatever he wants and its disgusting”. I found this particular comment to exhibit a form of irony, due to the fact that the President has spoken and said things that are from being politically correct or even polite to others for that matter.

Nonetheless, what we see is that people will remove the sense of right or wrong; for whatever “good” in their political party they want to protect. The political compass is no longer guided by actual facts for some; but blinders to anything that does not support the good in the agenda they want to protect and the promote. Public discourse ethics protects and promotes a place of conversation for diversity of ideas and persons. Public discourse ethics nourishes the public arena as a conversational space that provides pragmatic welcome for difference. Private life unlike public life eschews difference, finding definition in commonality of interests and commitments (Arnett, Fritz, & Bell, 2009, P. 99)

This mentality however, is not exclusive to one particular party but can actually be seen across the aisle for both… just in different magnitudes. This is evident in the fact that responses are present from both major parties and independents also, that don’t exactly mirror the facts. Information has been contorted to fit one’s belief; rather than the belief being the guide on how to process information accurately. Unfortunately this leads to more diluted facts that don’t work well for people who fall into the highly opinionated category.

These opinions often mimic the bully on the playground analogy when it comes to public discourse. Largely because public discourse ethics assumes that the public arena is a “sacred space”  – a space to be protected, a space that is honored and valued (p. 108). Currently within this political climate, we see less civility and tolerance for idea’s that do not reflect our own. That is evident when you see a comment that is contrary to popular opinion; being met with harsh responses and personal attacks on the person who stated it.

Some of those attacks have been so hostile in nature that it would make sense that a moderator or referee step in to tone done the rhetoric. Unfortunately, the political distance has become so great that I don’t think the aid of a moderator would even be feasible at this point. People have deemed news outlets as being “fake news” so they are less inclined to believe what is published as truth, in order to default to their own beliefs and or opinions. Openness to difference has gone out of the window, and we are now firmly planted on two opposing sides.

If however we do not resort to finding some common ground; we will find ourselves in an internal an external civil war again. So we must attempt to be confident in the facts our beliefs; without being excluding of others who do not share those same ideals.  In a changing world, public discourse is the communicative ethics protector of difference among persons and ideas our task is to keep the public domain safe for difference ( p. 108)

https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2018/11/18/acosta-has-his-press-pass-back-whats-next-rs.cnn

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Arnett, R.C., Bell, L.M., Fritz, J., (2009) Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue                       and Difference, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Guides your Life?

No matter who we are, or where we come from…there is something within us that guides our thoughts and actions. It is the underlying factor that motivates and or drives the decisions we make. Those guidelines are considered to be the narrative of our lives.

Arnett, Fritz, & Bell describe a narrative as a story agreed upon by a group of people. This public story explains the way the world works and the meaning of human life, including what is good for humans to be and do. A narrative provides guidelines for human action (p. 37)

Personally the defining narrative that guides me is my spirituality. I choose not to say or utilize the term “religion” because that signifies simply a belief system versus an actual relationship. I would consider this to be the nucleus that prompts my actions since it is where my ethics finds shape (p. 40)

When I consider the governing factors such as how I treat people, the words and actions I use to express myself, along with the constant need to work on improving who I am; then my spiritual foundation is where I draw from. I look at the biblical teachings, although from a different timeframe as a personal navigation tool when I make decisions. A lot of times when I am uncertain, I look for scriptures that will lead me in the right direction; in order to prevent mistakes later on in life.

Each of us must find the one or numerous narratives that keep us on track; otherwise we might find ourselves operating as loose screws. Life has a way of knocking us off balance at times, so those beliefs have to be our foundation…especially if we desire to become the best version of ourselves as possible.