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Current issues

(a rough digest of what's topical on the mailing list & elsewhere)

Interlingual issues

Usability and user interface

  • EnlargeSpace. If the conflict is over limited resources, increase resources to an acceptable (satisficing) level.
  • SeekThirdParties? as ConflictMediator. When stuck against the thorny bushes, get a third party involved to help end the dispute. Conciliation, consultation, mediation, arbitration, adjudication or authoritative command.
  • CompromiseAgreement?. Each party gives up something for the greater good of each other.
  • SeekCommonGround?. Different from compromise, seek out the common ground that both sides hold. Deliberately focusing on something that can be agreed upon can break the adversarial cycle. It can also reveal the blindingly obvious solution that is staring you in the face.
  • ChangeThePeople?. Train people to deal with others better, and to alter needling attitudes. Deals with PersonalityConflict.
  • ChangeTheStructure?. Deal with StructuralConflict by fixing the structure.
  • TimeOut?. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, come back later ... and things may look different.
  • AgreeToDisagree?. Some conflicts will never be "solved", only abated. Live and let live.
  • SurrenderWithGrace?. Agree to let it go their way, not yours. Similar to AgreeToDisagree?, except available even when the conflict isn't totally intractable. You decide that this is not the hill to die on. Surrender the battle, win the war.
  • Wiki:RetireGracefully. Even if you've won.
  • Wiki:JediMindTrick. Works in the movies. Might work for you too.
  • ReFocusCommonGround?. End turns at stating your position by stating something that you do genuinely agree with or respect about the person you are in conflict with. This tends to reduce the SaintsOrSinners? polarisation that otherwise maintains conflict. Be careful not to let this morph into the AntiPattern? of shallow lipservice of agreement -- having the statement of agreement occur at the end of your turn, without embellishment, helps there.
  • Vote. Of course, voting should be the last resort. (see VotingIsEvil, WikiVoting)
  • TacticalDistraction? -- distract the participants. Popping a balloon or dropping a tray of glasses can work wonders. This is most useful where the conflict has taken on a life of its own, and works best when a non-involved party does the intervention.
  • TacticalEngagement? -- Engage one of the parties of the conflict in a discussion/debate, drawing away their energies from the conflict. A key point is that the debate is engaged not to win the debate, but simply to distract and engage the opponent. Similar to TacticalDistraction?, but takes more resources to effect, and occurs over a longer timespan.
  • Fork the community -- see RightToFork, ForkingOfOnlineCommunities.

  • ShoutThemDown?. Don't let a single point slide, hammer every point, repeat to absurdum.Eventually you will wear down your opponent and they may either AgreeToDisagree?, compromise, or SurrenderWithGrace? (or without). See also Wiki:ConversationalChaff
   * EnlistIdiots?. Bolster your side by appealing to the peanut gallery, apply sophistry to appeal to the unwashed masses passing by. Encourage them to add their voice to your side of the debate. Deploy demagogurey.
   * Involve more people. The more you spread the conflict, whether by enlisting idiots or just ordinary people, the longer it is likely to go on for and the more damage it is likely to do.
  • LieCheatSteal?. Pretend to AgreeToDisagree?, compromise, (etc), but its just a charade. As soon as their back is turned you strike.