Handle Conflict, Like a Boss!

Presented by Deb Nicholson
Wednesday 3:40 p.m.–4:25 p.m.
Target audience: Community


Conflict sucks! The FOSS community is full of passionate people with many, many differing ideas on how to achieve our shared goals. Disagreements seem inevitable, but what if they could be handled rationally, in a way that left everyone feeling at least OK about the outcome? It's possible. You can learn to cut to the heart of the disagreement, mediate and move forward.

Many of us avoid dealing with tricky situations or let conflict avoidance keep us from accomplishing amazing things together. Conflict can be handled -- without flamethrowers -- and the process will often make your community stronger. It just takes time, a slightly relaxed ego and a willingness to see the best outcome for the most people. This talk covers when to handle conflict, strategies for both one-on-one situations and group situations and tips on how to scale your conflict resolution skills, like a boss.

Presented by

Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson wants to make the world a better place with technology and social justice for all. After many years of local political organizing, she started handling outreach for the Free Software Foundation and became an enthusiastic free software activist. She likes talking to developers about software patents, to project maintainers about leadership and activists about free software. She is currently the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at GNU MediaGoblin. She lives with her husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts -- surrounded by a community of food nerds and noisy musicians.

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