So, let's talk about community. It has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I think mostly because of all the feedback and shake-up that has been taking place with a couple forum posts: Do You Tattoo? and None of Us is as Smart as All of Us. Comments come fast and furious when individual principles and ideals are challenged. And that is exactly what community is all about.

Some may disagree with me. There are those that will say that all should be wonderful and perfect in the sandbox. That all the toys should be shared and that no one should go home unhappy. Part of what makes a community tick and thrive is the differences that each of us brings to the table. Like cogs that work together to keep the machinery running, differences of opinion and challenging ideas are what drive innovation and changes of thought.

I have stated before what a boring world it would be if each of us had the exact same principles and beliefs. If there weren't "arguments" or issues that sometimes stand in the way, what kind of progress would we truly see? None. We would continue on doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts, with no desire to learn more, for why should we?


The reason we participate is threefold. We simply want to be a part of it all - to keep the heartbeat going. We want to be heard - to share our ideas and thoughts, to teach. And we want to learn - to take away something from a discussion that makes our job easier or helps us to do it better. Sometimes we give, and sometimes we take. And that is ok.



Problems arise when it is forgotten that conflict is good for a community. Sparks are needed to start an engine and keep it going. Static status, never changing, never learning - all lead to stunted growth. There is much to learn here, there is much to share. We each provide a different viewpoint, a different spark.

If you don't like it, that's just too bad. What are you going to do about it? (bada-bing!)


by rayannethorn

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There's a fine line though between a vibrant and stimulating exchange of ideas, which I'd welcome, but too often it seems that these threads get ugly, becoming more like personal attacks on people with different opinions which is a huge turn off for me, and as a result I'm finding myself feeling less inclined to participate. I think it's also partly because I'm checking in less often because work has been busier, and it's downright depressing to wade through a multi-page thread full of these less than respectful exchanges. I wish people could be a little nicer, focus on the issue being discussed instead of the person.
I understand what you're saying, Pam - it's hard sometimes to watch the very messy process of people trying to communicate. And public forums can't help but shine a spotlight on the good, the bad, and the ugly. At several points in the the Wednesday Wisdom exchange this week I wondered if (as the originator of the post) I should remind folks that we were there to exchange ideas and not daggers, but I decided to let the community police itself to see what would happen. Lo and behold, the discussion continues this morning on a relatively clear thread of intelligent discussion, which makes me very happy. :))

I'm not sure what is the "right" way to behave in public discussions, other than to follow my own inner compass (as you suggest that you do, too). Nice to know that you're out there reading, even if you choose not to participate as frequently - I truly enjoy how you think about discussion topics and present your views. Don't disappear completely!
Maybe it's because I was raised in a house full of boys with a father who loved to debate any topic under the sun, but spirited discussion doesn't phase me much. And when I feel passionately about something I can hold my own just fine thanks to that training.

You took some heat in that conversation yesterday Karen (and mostly graciously, I might add), but so did others; as my mom used to say in the aftermath of rough-housing between my brothers and I, "no blood, no foul." Ok, to be fair she also used to say "Take it outside!!" a lot too. My point is that we're all adults here, and public forum is for those who don't mind putting on a flack jacket once in a while. It is also probably an acquired taste - some love it, others would rather go through a tax audit than participate. It requires that we check our egos frequently and even agree to disagree sometimes.

To Heather's (and Pam's, and most likely your own) point, there's a difference between the message and the messenger. I think it's a learned behavior to distinguish between the two, and even further to stay on track as you express differences of opinion about it. I happen to like the messy-ness of the process, even when it makes me uncomfortable. I learn from it every single time.
"Conflict may be good for a community...", but I'm in Pam's camp on this one; "There's a fine line though between a vibrant and stimulating exchange of ideas..." and... well... War [my choice of words.]

Sure.. I agree with Heather when she says; "If you are going to raise a controversial issue and/or take a strong position on almost anything, you cannot expect others to always agree or approve." [IMPO; Expecting everyone to "agree" or "approve" is a recipe for failure in communication.]

I don't have any trouble taking a strong stance on any topic I choose. And, I don't expect everyone to agree or approve. I absolutely love "a vibrant and stimulating exchange of ideas." But, if you choose to slit my throat, well, that's no longer debate and exchange with a mutually beneficial purpose. That is war. And THAT is drastically different. IMPO; In debate, we are collaborators. In war, we are opponents. That changes my approach and intent.

I have not read either of the two posts referenced by Rayanne. And, now that I hear what's going on in there, I will not waste my time (regardless of what the content is.) Might I miss a gem? Yep. But, I will avoid the disgusting feeling I get when I see people slitting each other's throats. That usually detracts from the "message" I would have taken away anyhow.

Coincidentally, I saw a quote this morning which hits the nail on the head... so I'll close my comment with that quote: "Bring your opponent to his senses, not to his knees," - William Ury
Pam, I completely agree with you on this. I have been avoiding 99.9% of adding an opinion in many discussions due to seeing personal attacks. Anyone who knows me that my comment has nothing to do with having or not having "thick skin" - in my humble opinion, it's just not worth the risk because our Clients and Candidates can Google our name and see us involved in a free-for-all. Even if you're the person being slammed and do no slamming back, many assume that where there is smoke, there is fire. Isn't that why we have our candidates clean up their web signature in the first place? This is a social media age; people are looking us up, both as candidates, recruiters, service providers, etc.

The recent and horrific situation in Iran led me to reflect what the true cost of differing opinions is. This may seem like an extreme example, but is it? While our swords may lie at our hands (our keyboards), we have the power to disgrace someone . . . with a permanent signature of it to remain searchable on the web forever. I have personally witnessed genocide on a mass scale during my time in the Marine Corps, and it was due to one group of people having different religious ideas than the other. By the time we got there, close to 200k people were already murdered. Many of my team members had been in Somolia and told me about the similarities. YouTube has tons of new video showing the Basij attack, beat, and massacre Iranians for having differing ideas and opinions. Neda will be remembered as the face of a movement forever. And in seeing what happened in Iran, I am appalled that many around the world, including on social networks such as RBC, are not more sensitive to avoiding the crushing of new ideas.


That's why I laugh when I hear people say that "Business is War." Business isn't war - War is war. Success in today's economy isn't completely about "crushing the competition"; the winners are finding unique ways to differentiate, form alliances, and position themselves. The "Business is War" paradigm helped lead to our financial collapse. We can do better.
Seems to me that RBC has a membership of over 17,000 with an "active" blogging community of perhaps 30 people - 25 almost always agree with each other, swap kudos and accolades, and generally get along - the other 5 (aprox.) tend to butt heads and end up on the bottom or a massive pile of demeaning comments.

That suggests to me that the majority of some 16,970 people are chosing not to take part in this community.
Steve, you are wrong on all accounts. If you need me to explain it I will but think about what you are saying. I hope this does not resemble a knifing to anyone here.

Steve Delaney said:
Seems to me that RBC has a membership of over 17,000 with an "active" blogging community of perhaps 30 people - 25 almost always agree with each other, swap kudos and accolades, and generally get along - the other 5 (aprox.) tend to butt heads and end up on the bottom or a massive pile of demeaning comments.

That suggests to me that the majority of some 16,970 people are chosing not to take part in this community.
Jim, you should read them before you comment and agree to what you are agreeing to.

Jim - medXcentral said:
"Conflict may be good for a community...", but I'm in Pam's camp on this one; "There's a fine line though between a vibrant and stimulating exchange of ideas..." and... well... War [my choice of words.]

Sure.. I agree with Heather when she says; "If you are going to raise a controversial issue and/or take a strong position on almost anything, you cannot expect others to always agree or approve." [IMPO; Expecting everyone to "agree" or "approve" is a recipe for failure in communication.]

I don't have any trouble taking a strong stance on any topic I choose. And, I don't expect everyone to agree or approve. I absolutely love "a vibrant and stimulating exchange of ideas." But, if you choose to slit my throat, well, that's no longer debate and exchange with a mutually beneficial purpose. That is war. And THAT is drastically different. IMPO; In debate, we are collaborators. In war, we are opponents. That changes my approach and intent.

I have not read either of the two posts referenced by Rayanne. And, now that I hear what's going on in there, I will not waste my time (regardless of what the content is.) Might I miss a gem? Yep. But, I will avoid the disgusting feeling I get when I see people slitting each other's throats. That usually detracts from the "message" I would have taken away anyhow.

Coincidentally, I saw a quote this morning which hits the nail on the head... so I'll close my comment with that quote: "Bring your opponent to his senses, not to his knees," - William Ury
Karen, you should tell jim to read those posts before you agree that you agree with him.

KarenM said:
Jim
AWESOME Post!

Claudia, thanks for acknowledgment.. One thing I may be accused of is definitely being long winded, and yes very passionate, but for sure one can never accuse me of personal attacks.. But, it was indeed very difficult to stay gracious after much of what was said about me on the personal level. It took a lot of tongue biting, and my tongue is very sore!

Heather, as an attorney, I am positive you can define the difference between personal subjective attacks which focuses on the Messenger, rather than on the message, even one based upon opinion that is strongly contrary to yours..

When some take the opinions from a very small and select few and very influential yes men, what ends up is that these individuals believe that these select few have all the "right" answers.. and any disagreement with them ends up creating a very sterile atmosphere. The poison tends to grow like cancer, but one doesn't realize that it ultimately will become very toxic, creating dissension and sapping the ideology of community.

The problem is, that the small group of people don't realize that their views may not be shared by everyone.. especially when they believe fear is acceptance of their beliefs

Simply put, when it get's ugly, people stay away, and there really is no need for ugly
Pam, I love when you stop by because you always add valuable insight and opinions on making placements. If it is once a month or once a year of if we are all lucky and if is more, like I said, we are all lucky. I was telling Jerry Albright yesterday that you get it because you don't follow me on twitter and I told Jerry, It's a sign of someone who wants to spend their time wisely. I know it makes me sound like maybe i may be waste of time but you know what I mean.

pam claughton said:
There's a fine line though between a vibrant and stimulating exchange of ideas, which I'd welcome, but too often it seems that these threads get ugly, becoming more like personal attacks on people with different opinions which is a huge turn off for me, and as a result I'm finding myself feeling less inclined to participate. I think it's also partly because I'm checking in less often because work has been busier, and it's downright depressing to wade through a multi-page thread full of these less than respectful exchanges. I wish people could be a little nicer, focus on the issue being discussed instead of the person.
Online 'community' means different things to different people. For some, it's a form of entertainment. For others, it's a source of news and opinion. Still others want a water cooler for small talk. I know people who simply use online forums for data collection and marketing. Some people build their brands while others wish they had.

I imagine you could create a list of a dozen different ways that people use 'community'. No one formulation covers all of the needs. Most generalizations fail to account for all of the stakeholders.

I know that lots of people really enjoy the brawls. While I'm not one of them, I understand that they are an important piece of community life. I'm not sure that I agree about their central importance. I just ignore them for the most part. They meet the needs of the people who participate in them.

I chuckle when the brawlers try to define the rules of engagement while they poke each other, pot calling the kettle black and all that. You know that it's going to get heated when the argument shifts from a topic to the meta-topic....the way we are arguing.

Predictably, people begin to comment without reading the material. That's how you can tell when the brawl has become a rumble.

The structure of this particular community makes it very easy to ignore the things you don't like. This gives plenty of time to enjoy the things that you do like. As far as I can tell, there's no regulation or technical implementation that forces anyone to do anything except register if you want to join in.

That's what I like best. Our lovely little community has a place for the people who need to be right, the people who need to enforce niceness, the people who want a dose of victimization, the people who want to do research and the rest of the dozen different ways this thing gets used..

That means that the experience you have here is the one you create. It means that there is no such thing as a shared experience here. Rather, we see pieces of the whole.
Karen, Steve knows what I mean. If he needs clarification about how I am saying that the numbers he is providing are wrong, I am more than happy to explain it.

Karen, I don't know what you are talking about with respect to who is right and what point I proved without knowing it and who is wrong so I am going to take you up on your offer and take this offline and pick up the phone and call you because I need some clarification but I need your number. can you send it to me via a message here on recruitingblogs.com. thanks or you can use recruitingblogs@gmail.com

Thanks

KarenM said:
Slouch
You do realize that you told Steve that he was "wrong on all accounts?" - I don't know if you realized this but you just proved Steve's point.. actually not just Steve's but pretty much everyone else - Rayanne, Me, Jim, Pam..

Slouch, one doesn't have to read Those specific posts to agree with what we are discussing here on this site. you can pretty much pick almost any number of them. As Josh said, it isn't a poor me situation, nor victim hood.. Straight up, it get's pretty petty around here sometimes with the personal agendas.



Slouch said:
Steve, you are wrong on all accounts. If you need me to explain it I will but think about what you are saying. I hope this does not resemble a knifing to anyone here.

Steve Delaney said:
Seems to me that RBC has a membership of over 17,000 with an "active" blogging community of perhaps 30 people - 25 almost always agree with each other, swap kudos and accolades, and generally get along - the other 5 (aprox.) tend to butt heads and end up on the bottom or a massive pile of demeaning comments.

That suggests to me that the majority of some 16,970 people are chosing not to take part in this community.

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