Post by Bdale Garbee
So, Chris, given Lars' assertion and my kind-of-a-rebuttal, I suspect
we'd both (all?) be interested in hearing you say more about how you
think about conflict resolution
I don't have many thoughts from "first principles" on conflict
resolution (and am in no way claming to be an expert on it) but I
have found that most of the successful resolutions I have been a
part of as the DPL have involved some element of private discussion.
I suspect that this is due to some combination of not requiring a
public loss of face, not needing to "perform" or play a role to an
audience, and the very context of a private chat implicitly frames
the situation as something a little more important than normal. I
would therefore be unlikely to ask the dramatis personae to make
public announcements or apologies as you suggest and would probably
not even dream of asking in the vast majority of cases…
However, whilst I accept the point that public intervention can steer
a conversation away from flaring up, I would go further in that this
can not only help that specific instance, over time it can shape the
attitudes of a community and make it more far enjoyable and rewarding
to be a part of.
Some nuance and judgement must obviously be applied — not only do I
have a strong dislike of "social engineering" when applied to myself
there are many concrete examples I can think of where it would be
completely retrograde or inappropriate to do attempt a resolution in
public (but surely nobody was really suggesting this anyway).
In terms of what I might do differently in a second term: I would
continue my slowly-growing trend over my first term of being more
confident to make congenial public checks on sub-optimal behaviour
that I see around the project which I might previously have done
privately or even considered below some "badness" threshold.
Whilst not all of them have been successful (and some have backfired
badly), I believe the net result when I have got involved has been
positive, often confirmed by bystanders or even (ironically enough,
by private mail) by the people directly involved.
: :' : Chris Lamb
`. `'` ***@debian.org / chris-lamb.co.uk