ClsXlca2016Communication

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Topic title

Communication, including NVC / PNDC

NVC = Non violent communication

PNDC - Powerful non-defensive communication

Introductions

Who is here? Recording this is optional - anonymity and privacy is sometimes more important when sensitive issues are being explored.

Name, community, role eg. Donna, Drupal, community working group chair.

Notes

You can be just as violent through words as you can be through physical action. There are ways to communicate that are non violent and will take people along instead. Get your point across in a way that does not belittle anyone, leading to a productive discussion.

Non violent communication (NVC)

NVC - 4 part approach: observation, feelings, needs and requests
Instead of going in looking for a fight: observe what is happening, state your feelings about what is happening, then your needs and finally make a request.

Trying to put this into action gets a lot of different reactions. Some people have empathy for you, but don't expect this.

Book to read - Non Violent Communication, by Marshall B Rosenberg

If you are in a debate, intellectually trying to understand everything before you respond is worthwhile. Don't base your response on uninformed opinions.

Illogical turing test - Explaining the position of someone you are opposed to so well will make it harder for them works well.

When there is a negative, rather than getting angry, make an observation to the person who caused the negative and go from there. Make a request rathen than demanding something happen - it effects change more readily.

Don't get defensive when someone complains about you. Instead, accept it and take it on board.

It is not someone's job to police and correct your behaviour, but it is great to have someone point things out.

Really good to have excellent mentors for this. If you find someone else who communicates really well and makes people enjoy being around them, then hang around with them and soak up what they do.

Communication across language and cultural barriers - employ these techniques would help out immensely.

Self education is a big part of this. It might be a slow change, but it will happen in the long term with people helping to point things out to you. Unconscious bias is something we need to work on.


Powerful non-defensive communication (PNDC)


Book:

When someone says something to offend us, we become defensive. Get into power struggles.

We have six defensive reactions

  1. Surrender betray
  2. Surrender sabotage
  3. Withdrawal, escape - don't want to talk to someone about something we don't want to discuss
  4. Withdraw, entrap - intentionally withhold information from someone to entrap someone into making them look bad
  5. Counterattack, justify - eg. I'm really busy, would have got it done
  6. Counterattack, blame - instead of blaming someone else, look at your own part in the problem

Strategies

  1. Ask questions
  2. Make statements
  3. Predict consequences

Important to champion it, but be aware when language becomes a weapon.

Very easy to avoid topics that are hard to discuss. Do not let the urgent drown out the important. Set aside a time (weekly, monthly) to think and talk about difficult topics to discuss.

Need to recognise when a problem is being deferred.

Book: The seven habits of highly effective people, by Stephen R. Covey

It would be great to develop resources around all of this to distribute around the community.


Other

What is a good way to get through tough times, dealing with tough people?

  • When things get too toxic, there is a choice to exit. You will quickly hear from lots of people who have nearly exited or actually done so.
    • Downside: you have exited.
    • Upside: Exiting can be the healthiest choice.
  • If you can have a facilitator around, that will be very useful.

Hard to apply this to twitter, because you have limited chars.

  • Repeating back as a question can work well
  • Wait a bit before replying - calm down a bit first

Build connections with a person before you start discussing things, because it puts you as a person instead of an email address/twitter handle.

You are likely to influence your immediate circle, so try to effect change locally and hope that it will spread.


Resources

Book to read - Non Violent Communication, by Marshall B Rosenberg

Book: The seven habits of highly effective people, by Stephen R. Covey

Book: Dealing with Disrespect, by Jono Bacon (dealingwithdisrespect.com) People get out of communities because of problems they are having to deal with, so this is an approach that may help.

Actions, next steps or key takeaways

It's all very well to talk, but what will we do next, or what key or new ideas will we be taking away from this discussion?