Kentucky lawmakers receive some suggestions on civility as part of ethics training

Republished from WEKU.

A required ethics training session for all state lawmakers is a part of the first week’s agenda in Frankfort. This week senators and representatives got suggestions regarding civility along with the talk on ethics.

Tom Little said being civil with each other is a part of ethical behavior. Little, with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Institute for Civil Discourse, said preparation for difficult decisions is important. And unavoidable situations will come with responsibilities to constituents, family, their conscious, their institution, their party.

“What do you do when there’s a conflict between those obligations? It’s good for the party but it’s bad for the state or again your morally opposed to something, but your constituents want it,” said Little

 Little said one ethics session exercise helps Republican and Democratic lawmakers learn from each other and recognize common issues.

He suggested lawmakers listen with empathy and compassion and trying to understand rather than listening to try to defeat.

“Most people listen for either a place for the person to take a breath so they can jump in or they listen for the weakness in the other person’s argument. But, what if you listen to really try to understand what they’re saying and you might find that there are some common interests there,” said Little.

 Little said he conducts similar sessions on civility and ethics about ten times a year in other states.

Here’s the interview with Dr. Tom Little:


Listen 5:46

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.