Acquia Podcast 37: Conflict Resolution in the Drupal Community

In any type of community - be it software or something else - with a large, diverse group of people actively participating and contributing, there is going to be conflict. An important thing to understand, therefore, is how to resolve conflicts effectively so that the purpose of the group is not adversely affected. In this episode I discuss conflict resolution in the Drupal community with Randy Fay and Greg Knaddison, two prominent people in the Drupal community who have a lot of experience with conflict resolution.

Some links from the show:


Posted on by shannon vettes.

I was at the DC London burn out talk and found it not only a valid issue to discuss, but a very difficult one to resolve because imho, the control lies with the people causing the difficulty.

Greg mentions that we as a community need to see people as humans, not opinions, when resolving conflict. I agree that that is really one of the core issues. Of course it would help to have some guidelines (note how I didn't use the word "process" ;)? ) about how the Drupal community leaders would *like* conflict to be resolved.

But let's face a hard truth: some people can be jerks, and no amount of rules will stop someone from being a d-bag.

What I took away from this podcast, and from that meeting in DC London, was that we need to foster a supportive environment. We can bring the water, and hope the horses will drink. We can keep spreading positive feedback, thank yous, help, and hope it becomes contagious! That obviously takes time. I don't believe there is any kind of bandaid short-term solution for this problem. It's going to take leaders from all over the community setting an example of good conduct, and evangelizing that.

From where I'm sitting, this community is pretty dang awesome, and I'd like people to remember that when they're getting their underpants in a bunch. When they drop "bombs", I think it just sullies their own good name, maybe I'm not alone?

Thanks for the podcast, I enjoyed it.

Posted on by Greg Knaddison.

I agree there are no band-aids - just a lot of ongoing work.

I think it was Randy who said that and he and I actually disagree somewhat on what the solutions should be.

I feel the Drupal code of conflict is actually pretty decent in terms of what to do to resolve conflicts (be considerate, be respectful, be collaborative, when we disagree we consult others, when we are unsure we ask for help, step down considerately).

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