Talk:Process of Communication

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Archived discussion

Proposed change

Tonight at the Horsham meeting, we proposed to consolidate the last 3 points in the process by making them sub-bullets of a single bullet point. We proposed to change:

  • Anyone can interrupt the discussion and ask people to slow down the pace of the conversation.
  • Anyone can interrupt the discussion and request a pause, at which point the group must pause the conversation.
  • Anyone can interrupt a person to ask them to clarify a point.

to:

  • Anyone can interrupt the person speaking for the following reasons:
  • To ask to slow down the pace of the conversation.
  • To request a pause, at which point the group must pause the conversation.
  • To ask the speaker to clarify a point.

This change will become official in 8 days, if there are no exceptions. Sylvia (talk) 21:20, 9 June 2014 (EDT)

This change has been made. Sylvia (talk) 17:59, 27 June 2014 (EDT)

Proposed move

Tonight at the Horsham meeting, we agreed to take out the following point and move it to the organizational policies page in the meetings section:

  • Any statement that breaks the rules is off the record and does not go into any official document. However, for meetings that are recorded (either by audio/video or transcript), both an original unedited version, and an official version will be kept.

This change will become official after 8 days, if there are no objections. Sylvia (talk) 21:33, 30 December 2013 (EST)

This change has become official. Sylvia (talk) 17:36, 11 January 2014 (EST)

Proposed Change

Tonight at the Horsham meeting, we agreed to add the word "the" to this statement:

  • There may be one or more moderators to check that people follow rules.

Changing it to:

  • There may be one or more moderators to check that people follow the rules.

This is probably how we intended it to be written in the first place, but we acknowledge that it might change the meaning a little bit. If there are no objections, this will become official after an 8-day waiting period. Sylvia (talk) 21:12, 18 November 2013 (EST)

This change has become official. Sylvia (talk) 16:31, 26 November 2013 (EST)

Proposed Change

Tonight at the Horsham meeting, we agreed to the following changes:

We would add onto the point:

  • Asking a question: "Do you think that you are exaggerating/using a should statement/analyzing someone's thoughts when you are saying..."

so that it would read:

  • Asking a question: "Do you think that you are exaggerating/using a should statement/analyzing someone's thoughts when you are saying..." or "Do you think it would be more in accordance with the rules to say..."

And we would add an additional point after the point "After an interruption, the original speaker can choose to reword their statement, according to the rules, or acknowledge that they broke the rules and abandon the point." that would read:

  • If the original speaker is having trouble rewording their statement, anyone can suggest a wording: "You could say..." or "Do you want to say... ?"

The rationale behind these changes is that we have been doing this some of the time, and that it seems to work very well in many ways, helping the conversation flow more naturally, clarifying the original speaker's intention while helping them to speak within the rules more easily. We also observed that the times people expressed the most frustration when being interrupted for breaking the rules were times when we did not suggest rewordings in this manner, so we think this may be a good way of helping people who are newer to the group or less familiar or comfortable with the words be able to express themselves more easily and not feel like they are being shut down.

If there are no objections, these will become official after the 8 day waiting period. Cazort 21:58, 3 June 2013 (CDT)

This change has become official. Sylvia 12:58, 11 June 2013 (EDT)

Commentary:Voicing objections when people feel ready to

This section says "We encourage people to voice objections when they feel they are ready to." I know we talked about this, but I don't remember what we meant by "objections," and I wanted to clarify that point, but I wasn't sure what it was intending to say. Does "objections" mean when someone is uncomfortable with something, or when someone breaks the rules and someone points it out, or more specifically, when someone disagrees with a statement that someone else makes? There's nothing in the process itself that mentions objections, so I'd like more clarification at the beginning of this paragraph. Sylvia 20:26, 15 May 2013 (CDT)

Proposed change

Tonight at the Horsham meeting: In response to the objections to the removal of the word "vocally" from the previously proposed point:

  • At the beginning of each official meeting, all participants must vocally consent to follow the process of communication and to try to follow the rules of communication.

We have agreed to instead change the word "vocally" to "verbally", so the point would read:

  • At the beginning of each official meeting, all participants must verbally consent to follow the process of communication and to try to follow the rules of communication.

This is to emphasize that we want people to state their consent, but in some cases people may not be able to do so vocally, such as people who only communicate using sign language.

This change will become official in 8 days if there are no objections. Sylvia 20:04, 18 March 2013 (CDT)

This change has become official! Sylvia 11:20, 26 March 2013 (CDT)

Proposed changes

Today at the West Philly meeting, we agreed on some changes: We agreed to remove the word "vocally" from this pending addition:

  • At the beginning of each official meeting, all participants must vocally consent to follow the process of communication and to try to follow the rules of communication.

So we would change it to:

  • At the beginning of each official meeting, all participants must consent to follow the process of communication and to try to follow the rules of communication.

We also agreed to add this point to the end:

  • Anyone can interrupt a person to ask them to clarify a point.

And we agreed to remove this point:

  • If you sense that someone is uncomfortable, you can ask them if they are uncomfortable, or if there is something they want to say. You can interrupt with an I statement: "I'd like to check in with so-and-so."

We thought it might involve reading into people's emotions too much, and we discussed the idea that with the new additions about pace and pausing, we probably don't want this as an reason to interrupt someone.

These changes will become official in 8 days, if there are no objections. Sylvia 22:46, 14 March 2013 (CDT)


I'd like to hear the reasoning behind the removal of "vocally." Roseapprentice 08:20, 15 March 2013 (CDT)

I was the one who proposed removing this word, even though I didn't object to the original wording (I'd rather have the old wording added than nothing). I was thinking, in the long-run, it wouldn't cover people who were communicating via sign-language, or, if anyone were ever using a text-based medium like instant message to remotely converse at a meeting. I didn't think much was lost by just saying "consent to follow" and I think the understanding would be that we would normally do it vocally. We could even write a clarification about that in a commentary section. Cazort 08:54, 15 March 2013 (CDT)
I'm kind of questioning that change now because people were always implicitly consenting to those things, but I think it's important that we mean that people actively consent. Sylvia 09:11, 15 March 2013 (CDT)
Yeah, that was my concern as well. I'd like to replace "vocally" with "actively." Roseapprentice 14:31, 15 March 2013 (CDT)
Using "actively" seems to make the most sense to me. I'll bring it up at the next meeting and we can propose it. Cazort 14:54, 15 March 2013 (CDT)

I also want to clarify why we removed the point about interrupting to check in with people. Originally, the intention behind this point was to ensure that the conversation was not dominated by more assertive people, and that less assertive people were left out. However, my experience has been that when people are talking fast and not leaving space for others, interrupting them tends to elicit defensive reactions and escalate conflict someone, and people have expressed that it comes across as abrasive. I was thinking, if the pace of the conversation were slower, then there would be space for people to check in with others without interrupting. I think that interrupting someone to ask them to slow down, or to ask for a pause, which is a currently pending addition to the process, would be a less abrasive way of achieving the same goal. We can add a commentary section too explaining about this...I also want to add a commentary section about talking about how people can raise their hand, even though I don't particularly want to add this to the formal process. Cazort 08:57, 15 March 2013 (CDT)

The changes without objection have become official! Sylvia 11:10, 22 March 2013 (CDT)

Proposed change and additions

Today at the Horsham meeting, we agreed to amend Saturday's proposed change, due to objections. We agreed to change the current point:

  • Anyone can enforce the rules of communication at any time, by interrupting anyone speaking. Interruptions can take one of two forms:

to:

  • Any participant present can enforce the rules of communication at any time, by respectfully interrupting anyone speaking. Interruptions can take one of two forms:

We agreed that the word "enforce", though it may sound abrasive, communicates the idea that following the rules is important. Also, we don't want to use the term "responsibility" in this context because participants can't take responsibility for each other's actions.

We also agreed to add the following points to the beginning of the process:

  • At the beginning of each official meeting, all participants must vocally consent to follow the process of communication and to try to follow the rules of communication.
  • People entering the meeting later must similarly consent.
  • If someone is not willing to consent in this manner, they may either leave the meeting or silently observe.

We added these points because we want to emphasize the importance of following the rules according to the process, and we want people to acknowledge that by participating, they are making a choice to follow the rules. Doing it at the beginning of each meeting might keep the importance of the rules in people's consciousness so as to minimize conflict. This would not need to apply in unofficial meetings, such as when people are being introduced to the rules for the first time, but if the meeting becomes official, this consent would be required.

And we also agreed to add the following points to the end of the process:

  • Anyone can interrupt the discussion and ask people to slow down the pace of the conversation.
  • Anyone can interrupt the discussion and request a pause, at which point the group must pause the conversation.

This changes will become official after 8 days if there are no objections. Sylvia 20:27, 11 March 2013 (CDT)

These changes have become official! Sylvia 13:21, 19 March 2013 (CDT)

Proposed change

Today at the Delaware meeting we agreed on the following change:

  • Anyone can enforce the rules of communication at any time, by interrupting anyone speaking. Interruptions can take one of two forms:

would be changed to:

  • It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that the rules of communication are followed, by interrupting anyone speaking in a respectful manner. Interruptions can take one of two forms:

The rationale for this change is to avoid the use of the term "enforce" which we agreed seems to evoke ideas of authority and conventional power structures, which don't fit with the spirit of Why This Way. This wording also emphasizes the active role that the participants take, and it emphasizes the idea of them taking responsibility for speaking up about ways in which they feel the rules have been broken. We also added the emphasis "in a respectful manner" to characterize the interruptions, to clarify or emphasize that the nature of the interruptions are different from the sort of interruptions where someone seizes the conversation.

We talked about making other changes to the process but didn't resolve or decide on anything else yet. This change will become official if there are no objections after an 8 day waiting period.Cazort 21:46, 9 March 2013 (CST)


There are a couple things that bother me about this change. I like the addition of "in a respectful manner." Because I find the wording unclear, I'd like to change, "interrupting anyone speaking in a respectful manner," to "interrupting anyone AND speaking in a respectful manner."

I have mixed feelings about the removal of the word "enforce." I like the directness of the word, and the fact that it makes me a little uncomfortable, because being assertive and interrupting people can make me uncomfortable. Maybe we could change it to something like "Uphold"? The new wording strikes me as overly passive, partly because of the passive voice. I'd rather have more direct wording for something that can require so much assertiveness.

And the new wording feels counter to the notion of not taking responsibility for things beyond our control. I think we have the individual power to enforce these rules, but not the power to ensure that they are followed, because that is a matter of how other people respond to us enforcing the rules. Is "participants" in the new wording meant to refer to participants individuality, or the group as a whole? I prefer reading in terms of what individuals can do, because that feels more clear and empowering to me, but I'm not sure which way it was intended. Roseapprentice 07:33, 10 March 2013 (CDT)

I understand this objection and agree with it (that the wording seems to imply that we are holding people responsible for things beyond their control, contrary to our beliefs about a healthy state), I also now object to this change. Cazort 13:26, 12 March 2013 (CDT)

Change

Tonight at the Horsham meeting we agreed to the following change:

  • After an interruption, the original speaker can choose to reword their statement, according to the rules, or abandon the line of thought.

would be changed to:

  • After an interruption, the original speaker can choose to reword their statement, according to the rules, or acknowledge the breach of rules and abandon the point.

There are two changes in this one change. The one, changing "line of thought" to "point" is more concise, and also fits more with the spirit of the rules of communication, by referring to the point being made itself, rather than the thoughts (which could be construed or interpreted as encouraging the analyzing of people's thoughts, something we want to avoid).

The second change here is the clarification that the speaker acknowledges that they have broken the rules rather than simply moving on. This fits with what I see as the original intention behind this process, that it's not just about abandoning the point, but also involves an active acknowledgement that the rules have been broken, so that the people who brought up the concern feel that the breaking of rules has been understood and addressed rather than evaded.

These changes will become official if there are no objections after 8 days. Cazort 21:08, 11 February 2013 (CST)


I'm glad that you all reviewed this! I like the change, but have an objection to the wording.... I feel like "breach" is a harsh word to use. What do you think? I would almost rather say "or acknowledge that they have broken the rules and abandon the point." Kleclair 21:16, 11 February 2013 (CST)

I think I see your point, this may be a better wording; let's talk about this on Thursday. Cazort 21:31, 11 February 2013 (CST)

Okay, in the West Philly meeting tonight, we agreed to change this wording to:

  • After an interruption, the original speaker can choose to reword their statement, according to the rules, or acknowledge that they broke the rules and abandon the point.

These will become official if there are no objections after 8 days. The old change is scrapped but we can separately go through with the change of "line of thought" to "point" sooner because there was no objection to that. Cazort 22:27, 14 February 2013 (CST)

This change has become official. Sylvia 10:40, 22 February 2013 (CST)