Agree with the above two comments - Jillaine, a definite thank you for your honest and open response.
Neither g2g, nor the Leaders or Moderators groups feel safe to me anymore. My active participation in all those places has decreased. Even writing this post feels like a risk.
answered by Jillaine Smith
When what some see as a peaceful atmosphere is perceived by (many?) others as an atmosphere of fear, there is a problem. Many posts I would like to make, I no longer do -- because I FEAR being sanctioned for speaking out. Some I type out, then delete, saying something different. Some I simply click away from before hitting "add comment". Even this post has me afraid of being flagged, or other.
I have received comments from Leaders and Team members that expression of my opinions, expressing disagreement with a process, or even asking a question about process, is interpreted as a criticism, a lack of loyalty. Since that was not my intent (I remain hugely loyal to wikitree), but obviously has had that impact, I have minimized asking process questions or drawing attention to process inconsistencies-- something I used to think was a contribution to wikitree.
answered by Jillaine Smith
A climate of fear is not a happy situation. That one cannot express one's own mind without it being seen as "disloyal", or "criticising", is a sign of a deeper ill. Many who have left have expressed similar.
I am not in Jillaine's position. I am not a leader, nor a project leader, nor a moderator, nor mentor, nor mediator. Never likely to be, either — because I manage to annoy too many people by being honest, by asking questions that seem to make people uncomfortable, by NOT answering questions (I have been reprimanded by private message for that one), and - I'm sure - a whole list of other things.
BUT — I do believe in what wikitree says it stands for. I do believe in the expressed vision (one tree for everyone, collaboration, etc). Once given, my loyalty is hard to shake loose — unless something so egregious occurs to cause it to lessen.
As with Jillaine, there are things I will no longer mention because I fear being reprimanded as though I were a small child (when I am older than most of those doing the reprimanding), things I will no longer post, things I think but do not say.
Fear of chastisement != happy, peaceful, contented.
Dislike of being treated as recalcitrant children != happy, peaceful, contented.
Fear of being "flagged", or otherwise reported, for disloyalty, rudeness, whatever != happy, peaceful, contented.
Fear of being kicked out != happy, peaceful, contented.
Groupthink, where everyone only repeats the "party line" != happy, peaceful, contented.
A discussion forum should be a place for a free and proper exchange of ideas, etc, without any of the fears many now have due to the rules. This discussion forum should be a place where one can post without being afraid that cultural differences will be seen as rudeness. One should be able to post without fearing one is going to offend someone who does not understand those cultural differences. Just because a person posts in English doesn't mean they THINK in English, and, sometimes, the mental translations aren't always as "polite" as some seem to think they ought to be.