Get Informed & Dialogue

Our Dialogue Agreements...

One of our main aims is to encourage fruitful dialogue and healthy debate. And in order to do that, we feel it’s essential to create an environment that’s safe for everyone. So we ask that everyone making comments or submitting entries into the “Conscious Cafe” or “Creativity Corner” adhere to the following basic policies:

Criticize/challenge the content, NOT the person.  This includes not criticizing people based upon their culture of origin, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc. On the other hand, respectfully challenging or questioning someone’s behaviour, ideology, beliefs, words, etc., is welcome and even encouraged if someone feels that these are causing harm to others in some way.

Own our own interpretations of another person’s comment(s).  We simply cannot know what is going on inside of another person, so let’s use language that either (a) clearly acknowledges this fact (“My interpretation of that is…,” “I believe/wonder if what John is saying is…”), and/or (b) asks for clarification from the commenter if necessary. And closely in line with this, let’s make abundant use of the “copy/paste” feature of our keyboard and directly quote the comments we’re responding to—so it’s clear to others exactly what it is we’re responding to, and how we came to our particular interpretation of it.

Let’s speak kindly and respectfully with each other.  It is possible to have impassioned disagreements with each other while still practicing basic respect and consideration. In addition to following the 3 agreements above, let’s avoid using ALL CAPS as this implies SHOUTING. And most importantly, let’s all practice taking a moment to check in with our internal “Nonviolence compass” before hitting the “SUBMIT” button.

Let’s back up our comments with evidence.  Dialogue can be so much more fruitful if we take the time to present well-reasoned arguments, ideas and strategies. Let’s back up our opinions and suggestions with clear observations as to how we arrived at them—whether they are links to research studies or articles, or simply sharing our own personal observations and experiences.

Avoid including lengthy quotes from external sources, as this bogs down the comment section. Rather let’s summarize the essence of a relevant source and provide a link to it if possible.

If a comment is in violation of these principles:  Depending upon the severity of the violation and/or the time of the moderator, the comment will be “trashed” with or without notice from the moderator. In the case of repeated or especially severe violations, the moderator will first send a warning to the person, and if the behaviour continues, the person may be banned from our comment sections.