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Having Successful Disagreements | Community Club Weekly #43

Community Club Weekly
Issue #43 | September 17, 2020

Community Club Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers. This week's post is brought to you by Alex Angel!

🀺 Having Successful Disagreements

One of the age old questions of discourse on the internet is "how do you handle people talking about sensitive topics without it devolving into a thread that needs to be locked?" Conversations can start out congenially and turn nasty at the drop of a hat, but having these hard discussions can be incredibly important in the long run. So what is "successful disagreement" and how can you create a community space that allows for those discussions to take place?

This question was recently posed in our Slack community, and community members weighed in and provided some insights. The general consensus on what "successful disagreement" looks like, is when all parties involved are able to walk away from the constructive conversation having learned something (and hopefully change their views or better empathize with people in the future).

1. Have foundational rules in place beforehand if you want people to be able to have these conversations at all.

"I feel like successful disagreement happens only when other guidelines (including no harassment / discrimination) is followed first" - Carter Gibson

If you have clear rules up front that define which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't, it's easier for people to speak about sensitive subjects in a civil manner (and it's also easier for your moderators to step in when something clearly crosses the line).

2. Keep an eye on the conversation and take action when needed.

"Successful disagreement = When the moderator doesn't need to lock the topic." - Joel R

If you have rules in place, you can monitor the conversation and ensure that things don't escalate past the point of acceptable discourse.

3. If you're in a conversation, don't use generalizations or personal attacks.

"I think respect is a big part of it; the disagreement shouldn't devolve into personal attacks" - Jocelyn Hsu

This should be obvious for all interactions anywhere on the internet, but it's especially important when trying to have a successful disagreement. Be respectful, keep an open mind, speak from the first person, and utilize facts where necessary.

What sort of successful disagreements have you seen in your community, and how have you handled this type of discourse? Join the discussion on Slack!

Big shoutout to Carter Gibson for spurring this conversation, and Katrine Reddin, John, Jocelyn Hsu, David Silva, Joel R, and James Pickstone for their insights!

πŸ“† Upcoming Events

Upcoming events, from the club and its members.

CMX Summit 2020 - October 6 - 7

AMA with Carter Gibson - Thursday, September 24 at 3pm EST

🐦 Community Tweets

Ask the members

Erica and Brian always bringing the great podcast content

Bartle taxonomy of player types

Incredible guide from Andy!

πŸ“š Community Reading List

Community blog posts and articles from the past week.

You Want A Tribe
A great article and podcast about why bootstrapped businesses want to find their 'tribe'.
By Arvid Kahl

The Treasure Chest: Gems, Compliments, and Scrooge McDuck
What a title. Holly shares how she builds a 'treasure chest' of content, notes and shoutouts from her community.
By Holly Firestone

Master of Community with Rosie Sherry
Not an article (whoops), but a great podcast with David Spinks and Rosie Sherry.
By David Spinks

πŸ™Œ Community Jobs
A handful of open roles from our community!

Community and Events Manager @ Remote

Digital Community Manager @ Wyze Labs

Community Success Manager @ Icebreaker

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