Framework for Conversation

Creating supportive relationships in our online community ultimately rests on respect, trust, and effective communication among all team members.

Respect helps individuals to engage effectively and learn from one another. Respect as defined by the sense of worth or excellence that is manifested in the label, TEACHER, begins the foundation of our relationships.

Trust needs to be built over time. In order to build trust, partners will need to:

  • ‘Listen’ in ways that show that each values the ideas of other team members/partners;
  • Practice openness when sharing information;
  • Speak authentically about personal feelings;
  • Explain what is understood and admit when something is not understood;
  • Follow through. Do what you say you will do.
  • Continuously work at safeguarding the confidentiality of conversations.
  • Be open to feedback.
  • Be truthful.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be supportive both privately and publically.

Communication. Team members need to be aware of their own and their colleagues' communication style. (Reserved, enthusiastic, big picture, quick decision maker, reflective, realistic, orderly…) Set up ground rules in the online community just as you do in the face2face community so that all voices are heard and style is not misconstrued as conflict.

Resources for further consideration:

Our task is to: "Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in. - Marge Piercy in 'The Seven of Pentacles' "