Our communities are built on communication. We talk directly, by email, chat or at conferences, or indirectly, when we write copy for our products or our events, or do a talk. Especially when not speaking in person, it is incredibly easy and common to introduce confusion and misunderstanding, exclude people unintentionally, and sometimes even cause harm.
However, our communities are an opportunity to learn as well. To embrace our diversity, and make newcomers feel welcome, for example. To gain understanding of how people’s insecurities and fears can enlarge communication issues, sometimes into serious sources of stress and other negativity. To help people from minorities feel like they belong in our community. But merely our best intentions will not be enough for that.
This talk will explore how we sometimes fail to communicate what we intended to, and how to improve on that. Specifically, we’ll talk about how to be more aware of how we make others feel, and in the end make our communities happy, inviting and supportive places.