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From Greg Chase <>
Subject Re: Advice for community participation to lower tension
Date Sat, 09 Apr 2016 03:17:45 GMT
This is excellent. I hope you don't mind if I fork this!

Are you the original source or is there another place that deserves credit as well?

This email encrypted by tiny buttons & fat thumbs, beta voice recognition, and autocorrect
on my iPhone.

> On Apr 8, 2016, at 6:50 PM, Niclas Hedhman <> wrote:
> Everyone,
> recently there was some tension/friction in a community, and I posted the
> following advice to everyone to better get along. Not only did the
> community members responded positively, but I also got pinged privately to
> make this available publicly, so here it is, and I will let the wider
> community do with it what it sees fit...
> First a few general guidelines;
>  a. Assume that the other party agrees more than disagrees with you. We
> tend to leave out agreements and focus on differences. Sometime this is
> forgotten and escalation becomes absurd for no rational reason.
>  b. When in doubt, assume that you are interpreting the message wrongly
> and kindly ask for verification that you understood a particular topic well.
>  c. When writing, assume that every sentence will be misinterpreted.
> Review and try to reformulate to be as clear as possible.
>  d. Use a submissive tone in all writing. Instead of the strong "In my
> opinion, we must..." or the quite neutral "I think we should...", try to
> use "Maybe we should consider..." or "Another idea that we could..."
>   e. If you disagree strongly with an email sent, tag it Important, then
> put it aside. Read it half a day later again. Put it aside. Read it again
> next day, and then it is easier to write a balanced and inviting response,
> instead of the initial vitriol that flows through us when we get upset. I
> found that sometimes a response wouldn't be necessary, as the importance
> was actually much lower than originally perceived, and I would be able to
> work "with", instead of "against", a given change.
>  f. Be forgiving and accept different priorities. The other person is not
> out to get you or attack your work. More often than not, it is one of the
> above (a-d) that are failing, or that the other person prioritize some
> aspect higher than you do. Sometimes, this requires compromises, sometimes
> not and the different priorities can co-exist.
> Most communities at Apache consists of level-headed, reasonable people, who
> have a strong vested interest in its Apache project. This interest, often
> passion, is both the source of tension, but it is also what unites the
> people within the community. It is easy to forget the vast amount of
> agreement that exists, and get upset over relatively small disagreements.
> Ability to put that aside, or downplay the importance, will ensure a
> harmonious project.
> Face-to-Face is excellent way to eliminate disagreements, but that is often
> not practical. Consider Skype or Google Hangout, just for the social aspect
> of being part of this community. It should not be formal, and the
> invitation should go out to everyone, perhaps someone want to make a short
> presentation of what he/she is doing, to have some "structure", but that
> might not be needed either. Once we have a face to the words, and a general
> idea how that person is socially, we are much more capable to interact by
> email.
> Cheers
> -- 
> Niclas Hedhman, Software Developer
> - New Energy for Java

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