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Dear fellow directors,

having discussed this and incorporated your feedback, calling for a
vote, to:

* ratify attached best practices as current board communication
  guidelines
  (verbatim copy from
  https://nextcloud.documentfoundation.org/f/900757 as of 2022-04-12
  1600 UTC)

Vote runs the usual 72 hours, please answer with +1/-1/abstain to this
email.

Thanks,

-- Thorsten
# Best practices for board communication

We believe that beyond common sense good manners, and the community
CoC, the TDF board bears the extra burden of leading by (excellent)
example when it comes to define interaction styles in the community.

We therefore feel bound by the following board communication best
practices, to be used in all written board communication channels.

Applies to:
- intra-TDF communication channels
  (tdf-directors, working groups, direct emails, TDF matrix chat
  rooms, MC- and staff-internal mailing lists)
- the public board-discuss email list

## Communication best practices we apply:

- We are cognizant that people with whom we communicate are
  located across the globe.  We don't expect people to respond
  immediately, they might not have the bandwidth beside their jobs
  and private obligations to process all emails in a short time.
  
  We give them a chance to read and digest our text, form an
  opinion and answer in their own time. If we find ourselves being
  the only one sending a lot of messages in a short time frame, we
  slow down.
- We always remember that the recipient is a human being whose
  culture, language, and humor have different points of reference
  from your own.  We know that date formats, measurements, and
  idioms may not travel well.  We are especially careful with
  sarcasm.
- We use smileys to indicate tone of voice, but use them
  sparingly.  We don't assume that the inclusion of a smiley will
  make the recipient happy with what we say, or wipe out an
  otherwise insulting comment.
- We wait overnight to send emotional responses to messages. No,
  we don't answer immediately.
- We are brief without being overly terse.  When replying to an
  email, we include enough original material to be understood
  but no more. It is extremely bad form to simply reply to a
  message by including all the previous emails: we edit out all
  the irrelevant material.  Giving context helps everyone.  We
  delete irrelevant material and focus on what we want to comment
  on.  This makes for easier reading and takes up less space.
- We assume that individuals speak for themselves, and what they
  say does not represent their organization (unless stated
  explicitly).  Conversely, we assume that while on the board,
  what we write in public will certainly be attributed to TDF as
  well!
- We keep messages brief and to the point.  We don't wander
  off-topic, don't ramble and don't send mail or post messages
  solely to point out other people's errors in typing or spelling.
- If we should find ourselves in a strong disagreement with
  another person, we make our responses to each other via private
  messages rather than continue to send them to the list or the
  group.  If we are debating a point on which the group might have
  some interest, we may summarize for them later. If we should
  find even the private interaction hard, we ask a trusted peer
  for help.
- We don't get involved in flame wars.  Neither post nor respond
  to incendiary material.
- We avoid "me-too" posts. It's wonderful to agree with each
  other, but it's rare that pointing this out adds much to the
  discussion. New information is always welcome; an echo chamber
  is often less pleasant.
  
  In a word: we reply to messages only when we have something
  substantive to contribute. "Good one, Joan" does not qualify as
  substantive.
  
  That said, for discussions where checking support of opinions
  is desirable, there should be an easy way for the _community_ to
  give their feedback in a +1/-1 form, without running an official
  vote. LimeSurvey or Nextcloud Polls could fit that purpose, and
  in the hopefully not too distant future, Decidim can take over
  that task.
- If we are caught in an argument, we keep the discussion focused
  on issues rather than the personalities involved. Similarly, if
  we inadvertently offend someone, we apologize quickly.
- If we feel that someone's response to one of our messages is
  offensive, we take pains to reply generously rather than
  defensively. "Taking the high road" will almost always diffuse
  bad feelings.
- We resist taking a difference of opinion personally. Someone not
  liking our position or the crazy thing we have done does not
  mean that they dislike us.
- Not everybody will agree on everything. It's healthy to
  recognise that differing views can't always be
  reconciled. Often, we have to accept that someone else thinks
  differently and move on. If a particular list or topic is
  constantly leaving us irritable because of these kinds of
  issues, the message is clear: take a break.
- We recognize that email conversations may become heated. In such a
  case, we try to remember that adding more arguments may only add fuel
  to the fire, and instead it is a good idea to end-thread, and make a
  phone or video call with the involved parties instead. In many cases,
  people have the same goal, just don't use the same words - leading to
  misunderstandings in the email conversations.

In the unlikely event that this policy would be repeatedly violated,
the board considers the consequences that [unparliamentary 
language](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unparliamentary_language)
carries in a number of democracies, to remedy the situation.

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