Managing conflict


This is a draft document.

Code of Conduct#

It’s a good idea to have a Code of Conduct to hold your community members accountable to and create a safe and inclusive space for everyone. This helps establish clear expectations on how community members should behave respectfully in their interactions with each other and serves as a reference for fair arbitration when the need arises.

You can base your Code of Conduct off of similar projects’ ones or use the Contributor Covenant as a starting point, tailoring it to your community’s specific needs. Larger projects should have an impartial committee dedicated to handling Code of Conduct violations, and a method for community members to privately raise issues to them.

Assume positive intent and acknowledge#

negative impact Many interpersonal conflicts stem from simple misunderstandings. It is important to assume positive intent and acknowledge negative impact to prevent further escalation of the situation. Remind everyone that they share the same goals and try to find commonalities between each party’s reasonings. Validate that perhaps the offending party meant no malice while also validating the ways that the offended party was hurt.

When to step in#

Once discussions begin to get heated, with misunderstandings and accusations getting thrown in, immediate resolution can be difficult. At this point, project leaders should consider stepping in, asking involved parties to cool off, and try to find a way for them to understand each other.

When the Code of Conduct is violated, you should take disciplinary action as detailed therein and communicate to the offending party what they did wrong and why. Assure the offended party that you are taking the offense seriously and detail what actions you took to remedy the situation, as well as taking into account what their desired outcome is.

Do not wait for a report to take action on a Code of Conduct violation, it’s best to address obvious breaches of the Code in a timely manner to demonstrate that it is important and a priority of your project. Staying proactive helps to cultivate a positive and healthy community dynamic.

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