ideas regarding a conflict management strategy
First of all, I want to assure you that I care for GNU/Debian as a Linux distribution,
and I care for Debian as a community.
To lead a scientifical proof for that, I would have to tell you at least a part of my story of life.
Which I can do at some point in time, but that would be too distracting from my main point at the moment.
Please try to trust in my words, that I do indeed care for you guys out there and for the work you all do.
In case you get the feeling anyways, that I am aiming to cause trouble, then please choose a private form to express that. Send me an E-Mail. But please dont use my piece of work here to run defacements or to do flaming.
A long time ago there was a public discussion that some sort of conflict management system is required, that would help to fix problems that arise from social conflicts.
The name for that idea got a lot of attention. I will keep refering to "SOC-CTTE" from now on, to make it easier for me, because you all know what I mean.
The achievements that have been visible to me were three main points.
The first point is the most important one. Which was a general agreement that some form of SOC-CTTE is necessary, to create more social stability in smaller groups and the Debian project as a whole.
But the other two points were only about how the SOC-CTTE should be elected and what powers it should have.
Totally missing for me is, how the conflict management could actually be done.
Which seems to be the most important point.
The most trivial but one of the hardest things to achieve is,
to gain conciousness about the fact,
that we are all people.
And people make mistakes.
The less aware you are about your non-prefect existence,
the more serious mistakes you usually make.
And maybe you dont notice yourself when many of these mistakes happen,
but your social environment does.
And the social environment we all have in common is the Debian community,
either as developers,
as business partners
or as users and fans.
It helps a lot to have people around you who you trust,
who keep reminding you on the above point,
when you are stuck in an emotional situation,
that prevents you from finding a constructive solution to a problem.
The next step can be awareness,
that we all are part of group mechanisms,
due to the different roles that we have to play every day.
Our role as daughter or son,
our role as mother or father,
our role as wife or husband,
our role as friend,
our role as employee or employer,
our role as citizen,
our role as developer,
Because each role can cause its own conflict of interests.
Each role can lead to moments of feeling sad, happy, stressed, excited, angry, etc.
Another part is understanding of personality.
Personality is founded in parts of genetics,
it is founded by the parents
and it is founded by the social environment.
Personality is who we think we are,
how we are seen by others
and how our behaviour and our way of thinking is influenced.
I think I can speak for all of us when I make up the claim,
that we all believe in humanity and human rights,
no matter if we are developers, business partners or users and fans.
And we all agree that Free and Open Source Software is the right way to go.
Quite easy so far.
But how about the choice if we use console only or a graphical user interface?
Or the choice of the editor?
How about the choice of the window manager or the desktop environment?
And How about the choice of a chat client?
You might see easily how this can lead quite fast to disagreements.
And these choices are not of the boolean type,
there is no right and wrong,
because it is founded in personality, in likes and dislikes.
Now how can highly intelligent and skilled people find a ballance,
between tolerance and accepting other people's likes
and standing up for a personal preference?
By non-violent communication, pretty much.
And violence starts where another party has a disadvantage or is feeling bad.
When you tell a person who is behaving in such a way,
that you cant understand the motivation of the person,
that the person should see a psychiatrist,
or when you call a person with a different opinion an idiot or troll,
then you raise the escalation level a lot.
And negative action tends to cause a negative reaction.
Which can lead to a circle of further escalation.
Now what SOC-CTTE members will have to do is,
to constantly walk both conflict parties through these 4 steps
of conciousness, awareness and understanding.
And lead all involved people back to the path of non-violent communication.
What are your comments,
questions or ideas, please?
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