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.
Description: PGP signature