Protocol in Maintaining Respectful Dialogue
At Grasping the Nettle, we greatly value the opinions and views of others. In all exchanges, whether online – especially in the forum - and elsewhere, we want to maintain a high standard of respectful dialogue. We would ask all users to adhere to the following important aspects of it.
At all times:
- Consider respectfully the points of view of others, even where they differ from your own. As sympathetically as possible, try to understand why this view is important to the ‘speaker’.
- Avoid making any comments which are personal or potentially offensive to another user. ‘Words on a page’ are easily misinterpreted and so take the necessary precautions to communicate responses with grace and politeness.
- Engage constructively at all times, attempting, first of all, to bring clarity and understanding to the exchange of views.
- Consider responding, sometimes, with questions designed to understand what has motivated the writer’s comment.
- Communicate with the same spirit of grace with which you would wish others to communicate to you.
- As a general rule, provide evidential backup for generalised statements.
- Acknowledge that there may be many differing opinions on any particular topic and all opinions should be respected as sincerely and honestly held by those expressing them.
- No contributor should ever be made feel demeaned or insulted.
- Use language which is as straight forward and clear as possible, always bearing in mind that technical terms and sophisticated concepts may confuse and even demotivate others if the dialogue appears to be reaching a level of sophistication with which they no longer feel comfortable.
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