Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (349 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Introducing the Freight Train
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 00:20:52 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <jp1g93$gbh$>
On Wed, 16 May 2012 21:26:30 +0200, Pascal Bleser wrote:

Of course, that's not a ubiquitous thing, either. I've also seen
plenty of SMEs who are rightfully (and wrongfully - usually because
they're not the SME they think they are) very proud of their
achievements. :)

No need to invent a new term, there is one already :)

Cool, I've learned another thing today. :)

But one can add a lot of other factors that come into play as well, such
as cultural differences (germanic vs latin, to oversimplify -- plays a
huge role but discussing that would inevitably end up in a neverending
thread), and/or for example having some who see communicating and
"bragging" about achievements and activity as "unnecessary" or "bad"

Yeah, I've always thought there's a bit of a cultural role in it as
well. I've got some good friends in Germany who are a lot of fun to
interact with because of how they approach their expertise. The
conversations can get quite loud, but they're fun and nobody's taking it
personally (which really helps).

Some cultures cultivate the myth of success having to come out of a
group and dispise individuals who stand out, other cultures do the exact
opposite and value the genius of individuals.

Boy do I know what you mean here. :)

What would often help tremendously is to accept that opinions and
wording are highly depending on cultural factors. Obviously we always
read and understand everything with our own cultural filter. That often
leads to misunderstandings, bashing,
disrespect, frustration, etc... Actually it does every single day,
including in this project.
I'd say at least in one out of three emails.

Well, I think the most recent case in point is the discussion about
specific bugzilla statuses (proposed and otherwise) - in some languages,
INVALID or OBSOLETE have very charged meanings, as Felix pointed out. In
others (and even in various subcultures, just take tech vs. non-tech for
example) it's not personal at all.

It's important, I think, to make sure that when we have something like
that take place, that it's clear that the selection of a status is
nothing personal, it just is a way of classifying things. I think for
large portions of the tech audience, that's understood, but openSUSE in
particular has a very interesting blend of tech and non-tech audiences,
and the overlap between them can be problematic because of the different
social conventions and norms. Add in cultural differences as well, and
sometimes it's a wonder we don't tear ourselves apart. ;)

If we want to improve our communication (I mean the communication
between the people who care and contribute to the project), that is
definitely one thing we should become more conscious of, i.e. before we
start an argument, pause and think whether it isn't just a different
understanding or background.
Not that easy to do though :)

Thinking before hitting send is quite difficult to do, and it requires a
certain level of emotional intelligence to have that level of self-
awareness. While it's a "would be nice", it's not something we can
expect of everyone. So for those who do have that level of self-
awareness, it's important to look beyond the "flame" and see the spark
(so to speak).

Another aspect that helps to understand many reactions, opinions and
disagreements is "people who are afraid of change" (aka conservatism) vs
"people who embrace change" -- that's an oversimplification of course.

Sounds like a lot of BS? I used to think so too.
If you believe it's just a load of ...., then you're probably a [1] :)

And if you understand German and think I'm just babbling nonsense, who
am I to talk about stuff like that anyway, check this out: (Gunter Dueck, Psychologie des Wandels /
psychology of change)

Just based on that alone, I really hope we get to meet in person one
day. I think we'd have a fascinating discussion. :)


Jim Henderson
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