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2011/Notes/How to be wrong gracefully

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If you are wrong - what is the best way to admit you made a mistake and move forward.

  • Admit that you are wrong once you know - Someone who admits that they were wrong often gains more respect
  • Respond in a new or separate post and link from original
    • responding on twitter & google + can be difficult to reply & follow the discussion
  • How is it best to respond to an anger customer on a site like twitter?
    • Directly responding them, and reminding them we are all people can help to calm folks down. This can turn someone who was unhappy into your advocate.
  • In communities - someone is always wrong at some point in time. It doesn't mean that folks are angry. Its not always a conflict point.
  • Be sure to be clear on the original post that you have updated it with correct information (top of post)
  • Do you take down information if it is wrong?
    • if its your own info? Yes you can delete, or edit post to say that you removed specific content
    • What if its someone elses content (such as in a forum)?
      • very situational
      • sometimes the community can provide feedback on if it should be removed or not -
      • sometimes its a judgement call
  • Should the community weigh in on these responses?
    • this is likely to need a product tool (voting up & down responses to get the best one to the top)
  • What if your company doesn't want you to weigh in on a hot button topic?
    • empower your pro users to help defend or answer your responses
  • What to do if you see a problem before your community notices?
    • always admit that you were wrong but how much do you need to tell?
      • being clear & transparent with providing full details (especially in open source) can be very assuring to the community
  • When do you stop responding? When is it just not worth it?
    • Don't feed the trolls
  • Hiding behind legal?
    • What happens when the compnay makes a wrong move and doesn't go public - fill the gap by saying something like "you may notice this but i can't talk about it at this time"
    • Legal doesn't have to be complicated - you can push back!
  • PR can also play a role
    • community people can be empowered by the power of PR
  • What happens when its not a technical difference - but more of a social issue?
    • what to do? maybe not work with that person?
    • sometimes you don't want to apologize - so what do you do? Agree to disagree? Agree to change the type of dialogue?
  • Start out by assuming folks are right but with add extra questions to further the question - and help them admit that they are wrong
  • Leave everyone an out - allow people to be wrong without feeling embrassed!

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