Gerfried Fuchs | 13 Mar 09:40 2012
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discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

      Dear DPL candidates,

 it happens every now and then, people assume bad faith in mails from
others and call their action silly and active tries to sabotage, and
there are also people who fight for their right to behave like assholes
and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
communication style.

 Besides that I would expect from a DPL candidate to lead by example
(hope we can agree on that part), what else do you think you could do to
discorage such behavior and encourage people, in cases of doubt, to
rather simply ask how something might have been meant than assume bad
faith in the others?

 Thanks,
Rhonda
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Gergely Nagy | 13 Mar 13:07 2012
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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

Hi!

Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda <at> deb.at> writes:

>  it happens every now and then, people assume bad faith in mails from
> others and call their action silly and active tries to sabotage, and
> there are also people who fight for their right to behave like assholes
> and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
> communication style.

There are a few ways one can do in situations like this, which one to
pursue, largely depends on the situation and the people involved. In
every case, however, it is a very important step to maintain a clear
head and not fall for the trap, so to say. So a crucial step is to try
and calm down both parties, either publicly, or in private (or both, as
appropriate).

>From my experience, a large number of name-calling stem from
misunderstandings and mis-communications. Both can be fixed, and a third
party who steps in, and the others can throw the stones at him has
remarkably good effects, as the opposing parties do not have to talk
directly to each other, and the mediator can calm them both down, and
afterwards, gently guide them to an agreement and apologies.

I've seen that work, had stones thrown at me, didn't mind. I've seen
others do it, worked out nicely in the end.

However, this doesn't always work, as this is best done when the
discussion can be taken private, to discourage others from throwing yet
more fuel onto the fire.
(Continue reading)

Wouter Verhelst | 13 Mar 14:11 2012
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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 09:40:35AM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>       Dear DPL candidates,
> 
>  it happens every now and then, people assume bad faith in mails from
> others and call their action silly and active tries to sabotage,

Well, for starters, I think it's fairly hard to read emotions in
text-only messages. I've had to learn the hard way that your own
emotions play a big role in that: if you're, say, unhappy, a bit tired,
or simply opposed to the idea being discussed (or all of the above),
it's much easier to read an aggressive or attacking emotion in a mail
that wasn't meant as such.

Personally, when I read a mail that makes me a bit angry or defensive, I
tend to read it again, just to be sure that the person involved did
really mean it that way. If I'm still not convinced it could be read
positively, I'll try to contact them out of band to confirm what they
meant and how they meant it, or leave the mail for another day to reply.
I find that helps me a lot in avoiding flames.

> and there are also people who fight for their right to behave like
> assholes and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
> communication style.

This, I agree, should not be acceptable behaviour. I hope you're not
categorizing me as someone who would do that ;-)

>  Besides that I would expect from a DPL candidate to lead by example
> (hope we can agree on that part),

(Continue reading)

Gerfried Fuchs | 14 Mar 14:15 2012
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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

* Wouter Verhelst <wouter <at> debian.org> [2012-03-13 14:11:30 CET]:
> On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 09:40:35AM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
> > and there are also people who fight for their right to behave like
> > assholes and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
> > communication style.
> 
> This, I agree, should not be acceptable behaviour. I hope you're not
> categorizing me as someone who would do that ;-)

 Not at all, but I have seen such behavior every now and then,
especially when discussion about Enrico's community guidelines popped
up, people harshly defended their right for "free speach", so to say,
and it wasn't the only occation (have received quite some hateful
messages over time for my wish to have a better discussion style within
the project).

 But this is also part of:

> In addition, one of the things I've been considering is to lead a
> discussion on an overhaul of our code of conduct. I think our current
> CoC isn't really working, since it's outdated in parts, irrelevant in
> others, and ignored by many people in the parts that actually matter.

 ... the CoC being ignored.  In so many ways, both by people actively
ignoring it, and no real actions about "rule breakers" (unless they
crossed the line for next to everyone over a long period of time
already, which is, IMNSHO, way too late).

 So how do you envision an overhaul of the CoC could work to not be
ignored just again?  As a reference for those who are uncertain what we
(Continue reading)

Wouter Verhelst | 14 Mar 15:22 2012
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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 02:15:14PM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
> * Wouter Verhelst <wouter <at> debian.org> [2012-03-13 14:11:30 CET]:
> > On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 09:40:35AM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
> > > and there are also people who fight for their right to behave like
> > > assholes and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
> > > communication style.
> > 
> > This, I agree, should not be acceptable behaviour. I hope you're not
> > categorizing me as someone who would do that ;-)
> 
>  Not at all, but I have seen such behavior every now and then,
> especially when discussion about Enrico's community guidelines popped
> up, people harshly defended their right for "free speach", so to say,
> and it wasn't the only occation (have received quite some hateful
> messages over time for my wish to have a better discussion style within
> the project).
> 
>  But this is also part of:
> 
> > In addition, one of the things I've been considering is to lead a
> > discussion on an overhaul of our code of conduct. I think our current
> > CoC isn't really working, since it's outdated in parts, irrelevant in
> > others, and ignored by many people in the parts that actually matter.
> 
>  ... the CoC being ignored.  In so many ways, both by people actively
> ignoring it, and no real actions about "rule breakers" (unless they
> crossed the line for next to everyone over a long period of time
> already, which is, IMNSHO, way too late).
> 
>  So how do you envision an overhaul of the CoC could work to not be
(Continue reading)

Stefano Zacchiroli | 14 Mar 09:58 2012
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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 09:40:35AM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>  it happens every now and then, people assume bad faith in mails from
> others and call their action silly and active tries to sabotage, and
> there are also people who fight for their right to behave like assholes
> and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
> communication style.
> 
>  Besides that I would expect from a DPL candidate to lead by example
> (hope we can agree on that part)

AOL.

> what else do you think you could do to discorage such behavior and
> encourage people, in cases of doubt, to rather simply ask how
> something might have been meant than assume bad faith in the others?

On the first part of your question --- assuming bad faith --- I think
little can be done to avoid that. It's something quite personal: some
are more prone to assume bad faith while other are more prone to assume
good faith. What we need to encourage on that front is a culture that
allow to change your mind once people discover their initial assumptions
were wrong and to publicly say so. There is nothing wrong in being
wrong. And there is a lot to gain from a community where people state
publicly "sorry, I was wrong" and other people do not think bad of them
because of that.

About actively working against those who work on improving
communication, I think it is simply unacceptable. There is no "right to
be an asshole", because that individual right gets in the way of our
ability to attract new people to our community. I've routinely
(Continue reading)


Gmane