Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › The Front Porch › Draft Animal Power Network › Draft Animal Power Front Office › How to use this discussion list. › Communication
- November 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm #39865RodParticipant
I am disappointed and discouraged by the problems with some recent posts and want to put out some food for thought as it relates to future postings.
Remember that written communications are very different than face to face or even voice to voice ones. For that reason we need to be extra careful and also extra forgiving when we venture to communicate with others especially on a forum such as this.
When we talk face to face we can get away with things we could never do with the written word. When face to face we also add voice tone, facial expression and other body language to our words. Also we read the responses from those we are talking to in the same manner and are able to iron out difficult spots in our communication as we see the effect of our words. These language tools do not work when we write and we must be aware that we don’t have them available. Smiling or winking at the computer does not work the same as it would face to face. Many times I have been made aware of how a conflict with another person melts away when we meet in real time.
Also when we write on a forum we are not only responding to one person but are communicating to a large audience. And argument or perceived conflict may not only effect the person addressed but also those who listen in, so to speak, and can impact the reputation and perception of the writers in the minds of many others. We need to be careful how we deal with these sensitive issues. Also in this regard, heated communication and misunderstandings in such a public way can intimidate some from participating for fear of ridicule or attack. This can be major loss for the whole group and end up with just a few dominating the conversations. I have seen it happen on other forums and I personally would hate to see this one disintegrate into that state of affairs.
Some rules and I apply to myself in this regard include:
1. Be very careful in the use of the “you” word.
2. Keep posts objective.
3. Avoid the personal stuff unless it relates to building others up.
4. Be open and consider what others write, there may be something to learn in the message.
5. Have thick skin and let things go. Life is too short to let these things be a bother.
6. Assume the best about others, it’s just as easy as the reverse.
7. Be appreciative, say thanks, it really helps.
8. The Bible says ” a soft answer turns away wrath”. Try it it works.
8. And lastly respond. An unanswered e-mail can make one feel like they are being ignored or are not worthy of being responded to. We all know what that feels like.November 1, 2008 at 6:03 pm #47855Andrew LarsonParticipant
Those are some great things to take into consideration when communicating via email or forums. It is very hard to write exactly what you are trying to say and that is when people can interpret words in a different way than they were meant. I think that it is a good idea to always assume that someone is meaning the best when they write something personally, because they usually are. AndrewNovember 1, 2008 at 8:29 pm #47853dominiquer60Moderator
Thank You Rod.
There have been quite a number of us, myself included, that have written statements that can be taken the wrong way, or have written content that should have stayed in our own heads. This is a well written set of guidelines and a good positive response to recent discussions. I would like to share two things that have worked for me a bit.
When responding to a post, I often like to write a post, save it and then edit it later. This works particularly well with a post that may contain emotional content. Once it’s off my chest I can come back to it with a little clearer vision of what I should do with the post, post it, edit it, or often just not use it. I find that this method has helped me explain myself better (of course there is always room for improvement) and has helped me avoid posts that don’t need to be seen by the public eye. It may seem a little wasteful writing something that never gets posted, but it is a little therapeutic and I learn something about myself every time, and to me, self improvement has value, so I will continue to practice this.
Another writting tool is already built into DAP, the “preview post” button. It seemed a little redundant at first, but seeing ones own text in a public viewing format can change the way that one perceives what they have just written. I have already used it six times since I clicked post reply. Try it if you haven’t used it before, it may shed a different light on your thoughts and word choices.
Thank you everybody for your contributions on this site, I look forward to our community continuing to learn and grow together.
Here’s to the future of draft animal power and DAP,
ErikaNovember 2, 2008 at 4:27 am #47848Gabe AyersKeymaster
Cheers to all…November 2, 2008 at 9:15 am #47849Carl RussellModerator
Thank you Rod, Andrew, and Erika, these are all great points.
From my perspective, I do not want to become a censor. I believe in free speech. I want every body to know that they can feel free to express themselves here.
I recognize that each of us has buttons, and there will be conflict. I am not apposed to it, but it has very little value for this site, except that we may all learn some valuable lessons on how to move forward.
If you feel offended, please remember that you have the right to express that feeling, and if you do it without returning the offense then maybe you will get an apology, and further constructive discussion. We all need to find ways to quickly return to polite communication. It is the #1 rule, and participation here is dependent on it.
As administrator, I have let a lot of “infractions” slip, and I have let go of some toned-up comments myself, this site is not going to be communication utopia. I am not made that way, and I don’t have time to manage it that way. I hope that we all can advance not only as people interested, learning, and sharing about draft animals, but as humans in a community.
The problem will arise though, and as administrator I don’t see my role as dictator, so rather than nuking someone off this site (other than for repeated swearing, and spam) I am willing to have a confrontation in front of all of you, so you can pass judgment on the situation.
The recent situation was purposefully undertaken in an attempt to galvanize an understanding of our community communication guidelines, and to show that I don’t expect perfection, just reasonable interchange, AND that there is some one here trying to ensure that.
Wholeheartedly supporting Rod’s post, I also want to say that I think it is important that we acknowledge the good stuff when we can. It should also be noted though that just because something good hasn’t been acknowledged doesn’t mean that it is in the same category as those pieces not worth noting!!! I know that I can improve in that area, as time permits.
But I also think that it is important that there be some taking to task. We can’t react to this situation by fearing that the only things to be posted are accolades. We all grow from constructive criticism. The key is to work on the constructive part.
We all also need to express our own beliefs. It is important to own your own perspective, and not only not use “you”, but learn to use “I”, and to include in our statements some way to claim the comments as individual.
As an aside, there is capacity on this forum for a group of moderators to be formed, with whom “infractions” can be discussed in private, so that any action or response can be ironed out by more than one person. My own perspective on that is that although I may not do a perfect job, and it is extra time, I really don’t want this site to be “moderated”. I am willing to share “control”, but at this point I like this model, where we all just muddle around out in the open.
Thank you all, including lurkers. Any and all feed-back is welcome.
Moving on, CarlNovember 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm #47852jen judkinsParticipant
Well, I have been thinking about the recent exchange and I feel like I stepped over the line abit, by being unclear in my post. I apologized to Neil privately, but I think he probably deserves a public one. I did not mean to imply that he used ‘fear and intimidation’ with his horses. In fact, I have had a suspicion for some time that Neil is actually a really nice guy…the evidence lying in his success with his horses….which was the point I was trying to make. Though looking at the words…it certainly did not read that way.
I’ve been on dozens of froums and have moderated many as well and I am always surprised at how much trouble I can get into without even trying:cool:
So thanks, Rod for the reminder and sorry everyone. I’ll definately try harder. Jennifer.November 7, 2008 at 2:39 am #47856TBigLugParticipant
That is an excellant point Rod. I like that even though we should all get along, the moderators allow people to work out their differences in front of the whole community so they can decide how they stand. Great site and I hope to learn alot from everyone. Jen, you are right about Neil. He really is a great person. I met him over on another site and he shared some designs for a three wheeled forecart with me. Sometimes things just come out wrong on the little shiny screen.March 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm #47850Carl RussellModerator
Although we have not had any major blow-ups on DAP for a while, there seems to be fairly regular expressions of intolerance, and discomfort.
We are getting over 10 thousand visits per month, from around the world.
If you are trying to protect yourself from, or rid yourself of, people who have different views than you, this is not the place to come.
PLEASE remember that even though personal expressions of beliefs, values, and frustrations do help us to know who you are, they can also make other people very uncomfortable.
If the purpose of your comments ARE to make people uncomfortable, then don’t make them.
Thank you, CarlMarch 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm #47851VickiParticipant
I appreciate the points Rod makes in his opening post of this thread. I will copy that list and glance at it from time to time to check myself, especially #5 and #6. Great suggestion from Erika too.
I sometimes feel misunderstood, scolded, and that people are not careful in reading what I say or don’t say, (thus want to justify or explain myself) and obviously-comes the dawn-I do just that to others! Probably I sense something in some posts that isn’t intended and I am very literal about the meanings of words.July 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm #47854bivolParticipant
in communication with my friends i have a rule “in dubio pro reo”.
it’s a guideline from our legal system, meaning if court suspects some of the judged person’s behaviour, but doesn’t have clear information about it, it views the information in the way that is in the best interest of the person who is judged.
something like abolition of process due to lack of evidence, as opposed to keeping the process going and pressing the suspect until something comes up.
so when there is some disagreement with my friends, and i feel hurt, but i don’t know if they did it on purpose, i view it as if they didn’t mean it.
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