Today, Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chair William Timmons (R-SC) of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Select Committee”) held a hearing on how to empower members of Congress to approach policy making through civil and collaborative leadership despite growing polarization.
The hearing, titled “Pathways to Success: How Practicing Civility, Collaboration, and Leadership Can Empower Members,” featured experts in the fields of leadership development, workplace civility, and collaborative policy making whose expertise has been sought out by government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
“These conversations are hard because they force us to consider our own actions and to think about the roles we play in an institution that’s become increasingly polarized,” said Chair Kilmer. “However, the research shows that leaders who practice civility and who take a collaborative approach to their work are able to produce and achieve at higher levels. I’m looking forward to talking about how members can apply these principles to their own work here in Congress and ultimately make the institution work better for the American people.”
“We are here today to ensure we can do the job Americans want us to do—work together to solve the mounting challenges our country faces,” said Vice Chair Timmons. “We have a lot of conflict entrepreneurs in Congress. The loudest voices are heard, and those that are trying to engage in problem solving often have a tougher road. We need to find a way to incentivize collaborative, fact-based policy making, facilitate an exchange of ideas from a place of mutual respect, and dig deep into the issue.”
This is the third hearing the Select Committee has held to address the growing polarization in Congress and the lack of incentives to engage in a civil, collaborative policy making process.
The Committee continued to employ its new rules, conducting the hearing in a roundtable format. The members and witnesses convened around a conference table to encourage open discussion and engagement.