Attitudes and Intimidation in Elsmar Cove forum Posts

S

silentrunning

#21
Re: Responding to Questions by 'Newbies': Attitude and Intimidation

Marc, As one of the newer members of the Cove, I can say I feel very comfortable posting here. I belong to some fishing and Labrador Retriever forums where they will hand you your head if you make a statement they disagree with. I feel I have learned more in the last couple of months reading this forum than I have in the last two years. I am the top dog in my company as far as quality management, so I learn very little at work. There is no one there to teach me. A couple of people have answered my queries in a less than positive way, but it has made me think before I post. I know I will still post "dumb" questions from time to time, but I feel that the people here are friends who want to help and will keep me from making stupid mistakes.

Doug
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#22
Re: Responding to Questions by 'Newbies': Attitude and Intimidation

I do, and will always think, that people are basically good at nature. I believe that most of the people posting here on the board are good people, and are not trying to be mean, discourteous, etc. Discussion boards are a very unique form of communication. It is all written, and you can have instant responses.

If you were to look here in America, in general the studies suggest non-verbal communication comprises about 70-90% of our communication. This is us "reading" each other's body language to determine if they are lying, are they angry, are they sincere, etc. Also, you can "read" people to see if you may have unintentionally made them angry, hurt their feelings, if they seem confused, etc.

Again, we can't see each other's sincerity, or humor in the face, or the general disposition of being nice people. We can only infer from what we read. So what we type may need to be a little different than what we would say. That's not that you can't express your feelings, or disagree with something. Just remember we don't have that essential component of communication, the one that helps us set the context.

The Cove is the best, and it will stay the best by everyone submitting their thoughts, having fun, and most of all, maintaining high professional standards.
 
J

JaneB

#23
Re: Responding to Questions by 'Newbies': Attitude and Intimidation

I would like to ask everyone to please keep in mind that the forum is a place for people to help others. If you (meaning anyone) get upset or otherwise frustrated because people ask what you may consider a stupid or 'easy' question, I ask you to refrain from replying in the thread. A while back when I discussed these aspects one person wrote "What, the Cove is becoming politically correct?" Folks, it has nothing to do with being politically correct. It has to do with being civil and sensitive to others. If you want to equate 'political correctness' with civility and sensitivity, that's your choice. Either way, if you're not interested in helping out please don't post.
Well said, Marc. I'm sure some of the 'been around a long time' people find it irritating at times to find questions posted from brand new people with a problem that is, to them, also brand new. But a curt 'why don't you search!' snappish reply isn't either civil or friendly. I'm not a member of longstanding (only found the Cove last year). I'm not new to quality, but was new to the forum. And certainly found that some of the extremely curt or less than civil responses (like: you should have searched! we've talked about that!) took me back.

An 'oh, we've already discussed that' isn't particularly helpful. I liken it to an immediate rejection of someone attempting to join or start a conversation. If every time someone does that they are instantly met with a 'we've already said and discussed everything on that particular topic', then it surely do be a conversation stopper!

Apart from anything else, often it's not true. It may have been discussed quite a while ago, sure - but it might have been with a previous version of the Standard, or even very early on when the 2000 version of ISO 9001, for example, was often very poorly understood. And don't people want to generate new conversations, new topics, new things to consider, new points of view? I know I do, and have very much enjoyed my almost all my interactions here, whether I agree with the other or not. Not being welcoming new people is generally a sign of an unhealthy organisation, and often a precursor to its slow/fast demise.

It's a fine balance, trying to cater for longer term, mid and newbies. But I think Marc's request that if you think it's too easy or too basic, then don't post is a very good rule. Depends, really, on whether Covers want to be inclusive or exclusive. I prefer the former.
 
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Gert Sorensen

Forum Moderator
Moderator
#24
Re: Responding to Questions by 'Newbies': Attitude and Intimidation

I admit, that I at times have used replies like "have you searched?" or "have you read the similar threads listed below". I have never meant to be rude or inpolite, but sometimes the question posted is very vague, and in order to ask a question that someone can answer then a little bit of research goes a long way.

I don't want to be rude, but I do want to be able to answer to the best of my ability, and a question that goes like "What is ISO?" is just terribly hard to reply to, especially if, like me, you are at work when you are visiting the Cove. Answering the above question would probably take days or weeks and I am not being paid by my employer to do so. If, however, the question is more like: "What is the difference between ISO 13485 and ISO 9001" then it is easier for me to provide the correct (or at least more meaningful) answer in the timeframe that I can allocate to the Cove :) .

In general I do feel that people are made to feel welcome here, but we do get the odd one in: Just registered, never posted before and either asking a very vague question or asking for copyrighted material or other peoples checklists etc. I can understand why someone might not feel that these "odd ones" are actually here to learn, but more likely are here to cut corners in their work. I don't believe that you learn anything by cutting corners. I have on occasion asked for examples of other peoples work, but that has been to be inspired not to merely copy it and use it in my work or present it as my own.

I visit the Cove fairly often, and I've got a pretty clear picture of who is here to participate in the learning process and who is not (that is in my timezone). I am sure that the same goes for our regular participants from the States, China, India etc. I see them join, I see them browse, and I see them asking relevant questions after a while. I see them come back and I see them replying to other peoples questions. In short, I see them on the same learning curve as me. I see them, I respond to them and I do not compare them to the "odd ones".

All of these ramblings are not a defense of battering newbies. I will not defend battering, but then in the short period of time that I have been here, I have not seen any battering. I think that this issue arises at least partly due to linguistic difficulties. Some of our posters have a very high level of written English and some them only have a basic level. Some write very elaborate answers and others only the bare minimum. And the rest of us fall somewhere in the middle. When our comprehension and use of our mutual language of choice is very varied then it will create tension. :bigwave:
 
#25
Re: Responding to Questions by 'Newbies': Attitude and Intimidation

An 'oh, we've already discussed that' isn't particularly helpful.
That is quite true, but fortunately there is a good way to get around that problem: Provide a link... Those of us who have been around for a while will often be able to track down those previous discussions (Besides, if we cannot find them, we certainly cannot expect newbies to dig them up.).
Apart from anything else, often it's not true. It may have been discussed quite a while ago, sure - but it might have been with a previous version of the Standard, or even very early on when the 2000 version of ISO 9001, for example, was often very poorly understood.
Oh, so true... the world around us changes and so do we. We'd better....
And don't people want to generate new conversations, new topics, new things to consider, new points of view?
But of course we do. If we continue using an old thread or create a new one is of little consequence as long as the all important conversation continues.

I do want to be able to answer to the best of my ability
I know you do, and of course there is no harm in asking for additional data, or as we often do, ask people to be more specific when they post.

I do, and will always think, that people are basically good at nature.
I agree. Life gets so much easier to cope with if you have that outlook. :agree1:
I believe that most of the people posting here on the board are good people, and are not trying to be mean, discourteous, etc. Discussion boards are a very unique form of communication. It is all written, and you can have instant responses.
In short, as usual, it is to a large degree down to communication, something we all know to be pretty hard sometimes.

The Cove is the best, and it will stay the best by everyone submitting their thoughts, having fun, and most of all, maintaining high professional standards.
Yes, the Cove is second to none.

Marc, As one of the newer members of the Cove, I can say I feel very comfortable posting here. I belong to some fishing and Labrador Retriever forums where they will hand you your head if you make a statement they disagree with.
I too, visit other forums both job related like this one, and other kinds. Some of them are like minefields: One false move and you get taken apart. One tends not to stay with such places for very long...:notme:

I post. I know I will still post "dumb" questions from time to time, but I feel that the people here are friends who want to help and will keep me from making stupid mistakes.
Well said. I for one have made my share of mistakes... but I'd like to think that I keep learning from them :D

/Claes
 
J

JaneB

#26
Re: Responding to Questions by 'Newbies': Attitude and Intimidation

Great post Gerts & Claes - I agree with all your excellent points.

Difficult to answer a vague, ill-defined question like 'What is ISO 9001?' Just about impossible, I'd say.

As a consultant, sometimes I get people calling me up and asking that question or a variation like (how do we get it? and 'can we get it by next week, as we've got a tender to respond to by then)! Even with all the info I publish on my business website to answer the most common questions, there will be occasionally people who perhaps are too lazy (or under too much work pressure) to bother, and want to be spoon fed.

I think the Cove does a marvellous job.
 
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Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#27
Responding to Questions Thread Update 11JAN08 080111

I decided to 'bump' this old thread to remind everyone that the Elsmar Cove forums are a world-wide, totally open public forum. We all have personalities and, especially in an internet text forum like this, sometimes personalities conflict. Please - If you have a personality conflict with someone, remember you can put the person on your 'Ignore' list. That way, if someone's posts irritate you (for example) you will not even see that person's posts. It will also block them from emailing you and from PMing you.

With respect to responding to questions and/or participating in discussion threads, whether replying to 'newbies', or 'regulars' for that matter, I want to take a minute and remind everyone that what happens here the world sees.

I was in Boston for 3 days this last week for some training. I was speaking with someone and the web site came up. The person said they really enjoyed it, but that he didn't visit too much because often there was a lot of 'sniping' in many discussion threads, by both Moderators and some 'regulars'. This person said that really 'turned him off'. I was disheartened and disappointed. This has come up in the past a number of times. I have gotten emails from people in the past. A few went so far as to asking me to remove their user record and all posts they had made. While that has only happened maybe 6 to 8 times over the last 5 years, and has not happened in the last year, it obviously is still an issue as evidenced by this person telling me about his being 'turned off' by these types of posts.

I recount this because I want to restate that all of us, myself included, have to be very careful in our posts, that we respect others in our posts and that we do not start, or reply 'in kind' to (we don't need 'One Up Manship'...), 'darts' (aka 'sniping', etc.). If you see this type of situation come up, PLEASE either use the
Report This Post button in the post 'header' OR, if you only want me to know you are reporting the post, please PM me. I assure you I will keep your PM to me confidential, and I PROMISE you I will discuss the issues with the moderators, or, if your complaint has to do with a moderator, I will discuss it with the Elsmar Cove Board of Directors. Your complaint will not be dismissed without consideration. I will follow up with the initiator of all complaints so the person reporting the incident is informed of the resolution.

Please remember - The WORLD is watching what we write here. What you write reflects upon you very much. You like to joke around from time to time, and so do I. The intent is not to detract from the personal contact aspects of the Elsmar Cove forum community. Rather, it is a reminder that what you post is being watched by the world. For your own sake, Please - Be courteous to one another. What you post reflects upon your image and reputation, as well as on the image of the Elsmar Cove forums (which I do take very personally).

'Plays Well With Others' is important here.

Your comments in this thread are welcome, and your opinions and comments will be appreciated. It is my personal goal to make the Elsmar Cove forums a place people like to visit without reservation. This site has been online for over 12 years now. We've out lived just about every quality and business standards discussion forum on the internet. If we continue to improve, we may be here 12 more years! To continue to improve, we need YOUR comments about this and other aspects of the Elsmar Cove forum.

My Thanks!
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#28
Re: Responding to Questions Thread Update 11JAN08 080111

Not that Marc needs any follow-up posts at all, but a thought or two comes to mind.

I recount this because I want to restate that all of us, myself included, have to be very careful in our posts, that we respect others in our posts and that we do not start, or reply to, 'darts' (aka 'sniping', etc.). If you see this type of situation come up, PLEASE either use the
Report This Post button in the post 'header' OR, if you only want me to know you are reporting the post, please PM me. I assure you I will keep your PM to me confidential, and I PROMISE you I will discuss the issues with the moderators, or, if your complaint has to do with a moderator, I will discuss it with the Elsmar Cove Board of Directors. Your complaint will not be dismissed without consideration. I will follow up with the initiator of all complaints so the person reporting the incident is informed of the resolution.
If you look over the past year or so, there have been a lot of moderators added, in addition to the ones already handling that role. All of the moderators, young and old, are here to help. Just so you know... when you report a post, all moderators know about the reported post. Saying, we take your concerns very seriously, and they are always discussed.

Also, say something happens, and you want to communicate with someone. You think it needs to go above a moderator, but.. for whatever reason you don't want to bother Marc (not sure why), then contact one of his administrators. I promise you they will take your concern seriously. His administrators are Howard A., Claes G., Atul K., and Kevin M. If nothing else, those folks deserve high kudos for their work and tenure here. Thank you guys for your dedication, and motivating Marc through the years.

I was in Boston for 3 days this last week for some training. I was speaking with someone and the web site came up. The person said they really enjoyed it, but that he didn't visit too much because often there was a lot of 'sniping' in many discussion threads, by both Moderators and some 'regulars'. This person said that really 'turned him off'. I was disheartened and disappointed. This has come up in the past a number of times. I have gotten emails from people in the past. A few went so far as to asking me to remove their user record and all posts they had made. While that has only happened maybe 6 to 8 times over the last 5 years, and has not happened in the last year, it obviously is still an issue as evidenced by this person telling me about his being 'turned off' by these types of posts.
I think this one is hard for all of us, me included. Folks, I don't care where you are in the world, a significant amount of communication is lost through just writing alone. Please be patient, and give people the benefit of the doubt.

If you think someone is missing your point, PM them to straighten it up. So many times we just need to communicate better.

Please, try not to be too sensitive. But by all means, if something bothers you, report it; tell a moderator, admin, Marc. Please don't go away mad, like no one cares. Please don't feel this way (from another board; totally unrelated to this one):

Hello everyone, this is going to be my first and last post on these forums. I just joined and was very displeased at the way that this is run, not the community itself, but at the controllers of the site. I tried putting in a profile picture and it was removed because it wasn't a picture of me. Every other forum site allows pictures of anything (obviously not obsene stuff or things like that), but I put in an (edit) logo, which is my logo on most other forums I'm a part of. However, it got removed because it wasn't a picture of me. What a stupid rule. I can't get over the fact that there are no useful forums out there. Alpha (edit) forums are useless because the community is overall a useless one. Beta (edit) forums are so hopeless and lose accounts. And then here the rules are so ridiculous... the next time I have a computer problem I'd rather smash it with a hammer than go back here.

I'd like you all to know that I think these forums are poorly run and that those who run them are totally illogical. What harm would it be if I had an (edit) logo instead of my picture? Who is it hurting? Just your ridiculous rules.
Aside from some nasty replies (again, it's not the Cove) many senior members were very upset about the complaint. They would have helped him fix the problem, if they had just been contacted.

Thank you for the mention, Marc. Let's work together and make those stories a thing of the past.

Your comments in this thread are welcome, and your opinions and comments will be appreciated. It is my personal goal to make the Elsmar Cove forums a place people like to visit without reservation. This site has been online for over 12 years now. We've out lived just about every quality and business standards discussion forum on the internet. If we continue to improve, we may be here 12 more years! To continue to improve, we need YOUR comments about this and other aspects of the Elsmar Cove forum.

My Thanks!
I love reading everyone's post so much. Forget about the buzz around any one person; post your thoughts and ideas!

Final thought: Marc, thank you!:yes:
 
G

Geoff Withnell

#30
Marc and Colleagues,
I applaud the general level of civility on these boards. Obviously the result of hard work. Thank you! :applause::applause: I have a question. If a post is reported, is the poster informed, even if it is decided the post is in policy? I realize you may not want to disclose who did the reporting, but given the multicultural atmosphere hereabouts, I for one would like the feedback of knowinf that someone had a problem with my posting.

Geoff Withnell
 

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