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From Robert Kowalski <...@kowalski.gd>
Subject Re: “Yes, and…”, not “But…” (Was: [PROPOSAL] Create design@couchdb.apache.org mailing list)
Date Mon, 14 Sep 2015 22:14:24 GMT
That was not was I was pointing out, please read my mail at [1] again, I
mentioned:

 - making proposals _in general_ is hard and the feedback is not
encouraging, because of the way feedback is given
 - feedback is sometimes not very constructive, and requires a few other
persons that step in to get feedback that you can work with
 - i have gotten this type of feedback multiple times in the past in this
project and could imagine it makes it hard for people to start working with
us in such an environment

I also want to add that there is also nobody requesting from you to give
wrong feedback to a very bad idea. Nobody said that.

What actually happens regularly is that a good idea with good intentions
maybe has a small weakness how it could be realized, for example an idea
how we could improve CouchDB. What then happens is that the special type of
feedback you get is something like "that won't work" and then you are
suddenly in the position where you have to defend the idea (which has some
nits) in an _all or nothing way_.

This is the opposite to feedback that will let you refine the parts of your
idea that has issues immediately.  But by getting feedback like "that is
impossible" or "that won't work" you often get into the position where you
have to defend the overall idea and your intention and that can feel quite
tedious.

I think we should aim to give feedback to ideas without the need of other
people stepping in to get a good result.

Btw. did you see the video? What do you think?

[1]
http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/couchdb-dev/201509.mbox/%3CCAJ1bcfH93V8HypHBbPNzOx1T7bN-iWBts2SZor8X1oSmq1DPLA%40mail.gmail.com%3E

On Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 8:56 PM, ermouth <ermouth@gmail.com> wrote:

> >  a more positive way of giving feedback
>
> Ok, lets build a tree to compare sugar floods with reality )
>
>    1. Michelle proposed design@ ML, good intention – but no realistic
> plan.
>    1. Everybody agree, ML created, and dies right after birth for well seen
>       reasons.
>       2. Someone says ‘We already have www@, that is abandoned’ – and
>       discussion starts.
>    2. Majority insists idea is good as is – but still no plan or prognosis
>    on obstacles. Also majority begin to depress the only person, who dared
> to
>    express doubts vocally. Pressure is not direct – this community is
> highly
>    civilized – but collectively mixing in some aside principles and rules
> is
>    highly effective way to isolate and fade out any opinion.
>    1. Everybody (as well as person, who initially criticized) agrees with
>       majority, ML created and dies right after birth for well seen
> reasons.
>       2. Someone other enumerates very low level problems directly, saying
>       ‘ML is irrelevant, because it lacks this, that and forth’.
>    3. Majority still insists idea is good and increase pressure using aside
>    principles and rules.
>    1. Everybody agrees, ML created and dies right after birth for well seen
>       reasons.
>       2. Someone begin to think, how to workaround possible obstacles and
>       shows alternatives.
>
> You can by yourself choose, which steps and approach might produce death of
> idea before it was born, and which steps made idea stronger.
>
> I played school theater zillion years ago, and know, that ‘yes-and’ is good
> for solving on-stage stalls. Nothing for that zillions years after proved
> me, that restricted lexical patterns are good for improving real things )
>
> Time to time negative feedback is a key for any open system‘s stability
> regulation and sustainable grow. Sugar floods only good when you make jam.
> It‘s tasty, surely, but it can‘t grow, because sugar is conservant.
>
> BR
>
>
> ermouth
>
> 2015-09-14 20:35 GMT+03:00 Robert Kowalski <rok@kowalski.gd>:
>
> > Oh wow, so much feedback!
> >
> > I think Jason and Jan (and also me with my initial post) are trying to
> > advocate a more positive way of giving feedback.
> >
> > I would really recommend this talk which explains a lot of Human-Human
> > interactions in communities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSv7GIX-XQ0
> >
> > I would be really interested in your feedback about it as a possible
> > building block for further discussions about Jan's and Jason's mails.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 6:58 PM, Jan Lehnardt <jan@apache.org> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > > On 14 Sep 2015, at 18:49, ermouth <ermouth@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Have you ever played "Dungeons and Dragons"?
> > > >
> > > > Sorry, I played Civilization. What I learned was that saying ‘No’
at
> > > right
> > > > moment is much more important to have excellent score, then saying
> > ‘Yes’
> > > > each time )
> > > >
> > > >> For example, in the oauth2 discussion
> > > >
> > > > As for oAuth, I think @CouchDB has a lot of readers, and asking them
> > does
> > > > anyone use oauth, is more elegant way to decide should feature be
> > > dropped.
> > >
> > > I already know the answer :) — Also, why didn’t you bring that up in
> that
> > > thread?
> > >
> > > Best
> > > Jan
> > > --
> > >
> > > >
> > > > ermouth
> > > >
> > > > 2015-09-14 17:38 GMT+03:00 Jason Smith <jason.h.smith@gmail.com>:
> > > >
> > > >> Have you ever played "Dungeons and Dragons"?
> > > >>
> > > >> I think the "yes-and" style is more about continuing the momentum
of
> > the
> > > >> conversation, and also having fun!
> > > >>
> > > >> The "yes-and" style is independent of your opinion about the matter,
> > or
> > > the
> > > >> facts of its consequences. To me, it is about being Socratic: say
> > > "Sure!"
> > > >> and then ask what the next steps are, or what the expected
> > consequences
> > > >> will be.
> > > >>
> > > >> For example, in the oauth2 discussion, I think Jan used a bit of
> > > "yes-and"
> > > >> style, when he said "Yes, let's keep oauth2, provided a developer
> > fixes
> > > its
> > > >> bugs; otherwise not." And I think the community collectively
> answered:
> > > >> "Yes, let's throw it out."
> > > >>
> > > >> On Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 8:22 PM, ermouth <ermouth@gmail.com>
wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>>> I think it comes back to trust, if we all trust each other
> > > >>>> that we have the best of the project in mind
> > > >>>
> > > >>> If @kxepal says there is no activity in www@ – he is right.
Facts
> > are
> > > >>> stubborn things. If he predicts there will be no users in design@
> > with
> > > >>> current approach – he is right.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> I can‘t imagine @kxepal don‘t trust you, or Robert, or Michelle.
> > > Surely,
> > > >> he
> > > >>> trust. He just pointing out real problems, and this is absolutely
> > > >> ortogonal
> > > >>> to trust.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Not everyone pointing out a problem can immidiately propose a
> > solution.
> > > >>> Issue fixing starts from bug itself, not from patch. And I can‘t
> > > imagine,
> > > >>> how you can start bug report with ‘Yes, and...’. There is
nothing
> > > >> barbarian
> > > >>> in ‘It won‘t work in this way’ or ‘But how about this?’.
> > > >>>
> > > >>>> That’s the kind of stuff that makes we very very tired
> participating
> > > >> here
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Sorry, but just repeating your own words: ‘If that makes you
want
> to
> > > >>> unsubscribe, farewell’. Writing it not to prick you, but to
point
> > out,
> > > >> that
> > > >>> if you issue rules about friendliness, you better obey them by
> > yourself
> > > >>> first.
> > > >>>
> > > >>>> [Alexnder Shorin] What really hurts conversations is
> false-positive
> > > >>> feedback, when you
> > > >>>> have to lie people and lie to yourself about foreign ideas.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Absolutely. +1000.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> ermouth
> > > >>>
> > > >>> 2015-09-14 15:49 GMT+03:00 Jan Lehnardt <jan@apache.org>:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>> On 14 Sep 2015, at 14:42, ermouth <ermouth@gmail.com>
wrote:
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>> I’m suggesting a way how we can adopt a proven way
> > > >>>>>> If that makes you want to unsubscribe, farewell.
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> That is exactly what I called iron ordnung. Extreme
> unfriendliness
> > is
> > > >>>> only
> > > >>>>> allowed for your here, Jan. The one thing I fear now is
that
> people
> > > >> are
> > > >>>>> afraid to say ‘but’, or take a contrarian position
in general.
> How
> > > >> can
> > > >>> we
> > > >>>>> avoid that?
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> I think it comes back to trust, if we all trust each other,
that
> we
> > > >> have
> > > >>>> the best of the project in mind, we shouldn’t have a problem
> > > >> disagreeing
> > > >>>> with each other.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> If you come at this is discussion from “if this happens,
I’ll
> leave
> > > the
> > > >>>> project”, then you probably don’t trust me to make good
> suggestions
> > > >> about
> > > >>>> our culture. How can  I improve that?
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>> Without phrases ‘You don‘t like it? Farewell’, surely.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> I’m sorry for the harsh tone, but I’m also really fed
up with lazy
> > > >>> excuses
> > > >>>> of why we shouldn’t be a better community, and I especially
called
> > > this
> > > >>> out
> > > >>>> in my original message, and now we already have a number of
> messages
> > > on
> > > >>>> this thread that have nothing to do with the actual issue.
That’s
> > the
> > > >>> kind
> > > >>>> of stuff that makes we very very tired participating here.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> Best
> > > >>>> Jan
> > > >>>> --
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> ermouth
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> 2015-09-14 15:26 GMT+03:00 Jan Lehnardt <jan@apache.org>:
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>> Of course, this could have gone this way:
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>> “That’s an interesting approach, is there more
literature on how
> > and
> > > >>> why
> > > >>>>>> this is supposed to work?”
> > > >>>>>> “Here’s a bunch of links: …”
> > > >>>>>> “Gotcha, the one thing I fear now is that people
are afraid to
> say
> > > >>>> ‘but’,
> > > >>>>>> or take a contrarian position in general. How can
we avoid
> that?”
> > > >>>>>> “I think it comes back to trust, if we all trust
each other,
> that
> > we
> > > >>>> have
> > > >>>>>> the best of the project in mind, we shouldn’t have
a problem
> > > >>> disagreeing
> > > >>>>>> with each other.”
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>> But then again, that would be a sign of the method
working…
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>> Best
> > > >>>>>> Jan
> > > >>>>>> --
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> On 14 Sep 2015, at 14:15, ermouth <ermouth@gmail.com>
wrote:
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> Well, next good step is to write it in CoC. Something
like
> > > >> “Starting
> > > >>>> post
> > > >>>>>>> with ‘But’ is unwelcomed here’. You surely
attract tons of
> > > >>> contributors
> > > >>>>>>> with this.
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> As for me the only desire after reading this is
not to
> subscribe,
> > > >> but
> > > >>>> to
> > > >>>>>>> unsubscribe. Imposed iron ordnung is surely far
more
> > uncomfortable,
> > > >>>> then
> > > >>>>>>> posts, starting with ‘but‘.
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> Also I see this policy just leave important questions
> > undiscussed –
> > > >>>>>> nobody
> > > >>>>>>> dare to say ‘but’.
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> ermouth
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> 2015-09-14 13:52 GMT+03:00 Jan Lehnardt <jan@apache.org>:
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>> On 14 Sep 2015, at 12:08, Alexander Shorin
<kxepal@gmail.com
> >
> > > >>> wrote:
> > > >>>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>> Hi Jan
> > > >>>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 12:57 PM, Jan
Lehnardt <
> jan@apache.org
> > >
> > > >>>> wrote:
> > > >>>>>>>>>> We agreed on a “Yes and…”-style
of feedback, and it looks
> like
> > > >>> that
> > > >>>> we
> > > >>>>>>>>>> are defaulting to a “But…”-style
feedback.
> > > >>>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>> Could you explain what are "Yes and..."
and "But..." feedback
> > > >>> styles
> > > >>>>>>>>> and how they are different?
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> Sure, I had hoped that just mentioning this
recalls our
> previous
> > > >>>>>>>> discussions. Here’s an example (sorry Michelle
for picking on
> > your
> > > >>>>>> example
> > > >>>>>>>> here, but it was freshest in my mind. In general,
I don’t mean
> > to
> > > >>>>>> re-play
> > > >>>>>>>> this as it happened on dev@, and I don’t
want to single out
> > > >> anyone
> > > >>> in
> > > >>>>>>>> particular, so I changed things a little):
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “But…”-style:
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “Hey, let’s create a design@ mailing list
for designers.”
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “That’s a bad idea, we already have www@
and nobody uses
> that.”
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “…”
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> <after a few of these, the person with
the original suggestion
> > > >>> leaves
> > > >>>>>> the
> > > >>>>>>>> project>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “Yes, and…”-style:
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “Hey, let’s create a design@ mailing list
for designers.”
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “That’s an interesting idea: safe spaces
are important! We
> still
> > > >>> have
> > > >>>>>> the
> > > >>>>>>>> somewhat dormant (which is a different discussion)
www@
> mailing
> > > >>> list
> > > >>>>>> for
> > > >>>>>>>> website stuff, have you considered repurposing
this?”
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “Ah, good call, maybe that works, but I
feel www@ isn’t as
> > > >>> inviting a
> > > >>>>>>>> name as design@ is.”
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> “I can understand that. If we go down that
path, what would be
> > > >> even
> > > >>>> more
> > > >>>>>>>> inviting than a design@ mailing list? I can
imagine that our
> > > >>> mailing
> > > >>>>>> list
> > > >>>>>>>> system is not very approachable for designers
to begin with,
> > maybe
> > > >>> we
> > > >>>>>>>> should look at a Discourse instance or a Slack
channel?“
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> <fruitful conversation continues>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> * * *
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> If your read this and thing “golly, ‘But…’-style
is a lot more
> > > >>>>>> efficient,
> > > >>>>>>>> we don’t have a lot of people contributing
in the first place,
> > so
> > > >>>>>> cutting
> > > >>>>>>>> these discussions short is brilliant”, just
know that our #1
> > > >> purpose
> > > >>>> as
> > > >>>>>> a
> > > >>>>>>>> project must be to attract more contributors.
Having more
> > > >>> contributors
> > > >>>>>> is
> > > >>>>>>>> the #1 thing that makes sure CouchDB is a
long-term success.
> It
> > > >>> makes
> > > >>>>>> sure
> > > >>>>>>>> that individuals don’t burn out, it helps
with more diverse
> > ideas
> > > >>>> making
> > > >>>>>>>> the project better, it helps get us more stuff
done overall.
> > > >>>> Long-term,
> > > >>>>>> it
> > > >>>>>>>> doesn’t matter if 2.0 is delayed by a couple
of more weeks,
> but
> > it
> > > >>>> does
> > > >>>>>>>> matter if the people who help shipping 2.0
leave the project
> > right
> > > >>>>>> after,
> > > >>>>>>>> because it was such a burden to do that they
lost interest or
> > > >> simply
> > > >>>>>> burned
> > > >>>>>>>> out.
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> * * *
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> Best
> > > >>>>>>>> Jan
> > > >>>>>>>> --
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>> --
> > > >>>>>>>>> ,,,^..^,,,
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>> --
> > > >>>>>>>> Professional Support for Apache CouchDB:
> > > >>>>>>>> http://www.neighbourhood.ie/couchdb-support/
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>> --
> > > >>>>>> Professional Support for Apache CouchDB:
> > > >>>>>> http://www.neighbourhood.ie/couchdb-support/
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> --
> > > >>>> Professional Support for Apache CouchDB:
> > > >>>> http://www.neighbourhood.ie/couchdb-support/
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>
> > >
> > > --
> > > Professional Support for Apache CouchDB:
> > > http://www.neighbourhood.ie/couchdb-support/
> > >
> > >
> >
>

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