On Feb 26, 2016 3:30 PM, "Oliver Keyes" <ironho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
> concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> situation.
>
> I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
> it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
> within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
> of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> were totally legitimate - dismissed.

Seconded all this from Oliver.

To Jimmy: we've been doing Wikipedia and Wikimedia a long time, you and I.
:) And in that time we've both learned good and bad habits.

One of those bad habits is known as "setting the bozo bit" in old school
geek culture: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SetTheBozoBit

Tuning out the concerns of people because they often disagree makes our own
lives easier on the short term, but at best it's a risk that you'll lose
useful feedback, and at worst you can alienate people who could have become
allies on some other topic... Or helped you avoid a sticky situation they
saw coming that you didn't.

It's something I've tried very hard to get away from when I interact with
other developers and users. And sometimes it's really hard. But a lot of
the people I unset the bit from are now doing amazing things... Some of
them now work for you as WMF developers and managers, and I'm glad I didn't
mistreat them early on.

When it comes to your employees, setting the bozo bit is a *really* bad
antipattern. Doubly so when they're coming out of a bad situation and have
a lot to tell you.

This is the time to listen honestly even (especially?) to those whose
narratives mismatch your own.

I'm pretty sure that's not something you'll disagree with, but it's one of
those things that we easily find ourselves doing wrong, and have to watch
out for.

Your staff is still raw and suspicious all around; the word "trauma" gets
used with total sincerity. We'd really appreciate care in how you describe
what's happening; it'll go a long way to making the next few days and the
further discussions you're planning to make really useful.

-- brion

>
> (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> critical time, increases transparency.)
>
> [0]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> [1] No, I was not one of them)
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
>
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