The understanding of how to practice ethical communication is such an integral part of this program that an entire course was devoted to it. Therein, I was given a number of scenarios and asked to analyze and evaluate how best to treat all involved in them. Two of my best examples: In one, I spoke about the challenges of disability as we move into a future where it can be “ameliorated”. I noted the importance of choice in this matter for those who would be given corrective surgeries and the like, explaining my conclusions through the lens of the “good” as proposed by Arnett, Bell and Harden Fritz (2009). In the second example, I noted the ethics of response and care within the context of a relationship by speaking of various ways that my partner and I used dialogic ethics to negotiate and deal with food-borne illness, resulting in a strengthening relationship for the both of us and a quicker recovery for me.
The understanding of dialog and “good” were probably the most substantive things I learned from my experiences within this course. As a result of it, I have a better understanding of how to interact with people in ways that improve them mentally and physically, and that also create safe public spaces for interaction and communication on complex issues. This skill is of immense value in our current climate.
As I advance toward my own career, I intend to use knowledge of good ethical practice in the crafting of my written and audio stories. I will always write and speak in ways that engage people in substantive dialogue, and where I make mistakes (because who doesn’t sometimes) I will employ strategies that are aimed at trying to understand where I went wrong and what action(s) might be better taken next time. As noted in a post about conflict within the Norrie Disease Association, being able to manage difference and help everyone to be respectful of each other’s various opinions and backgrounds is and will continue to be one of the most important things we as communicators can do.