John Eckman: WPDrama, The Four Agreements, and the WordPress Community

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December 23, 2016

The WordPress community is wonderful, but working with and in it can be a very frustrating experience. You can come to feel that no good deed goes unpunished, that no one listens to your opinions, or that all the hard work you’ve done just gets ignored. This is true whether you’re a multi-year core contributor, a business owner, or just a passionate user trying to make your site do things which feel like they ought to be simple, but turn out to be unexpectedly complex or confusing.

Often in such situations we fall into bad patterns of miscommunication and misunderstanding, faulting others in the community for ignorance, rudeness, or outright hostility.

The Four Agreements, a self-help book published to great acclaim nearly 20 years ago, actually offers a surprisingly helpful and accurate set of tools for helping you navigate your way through these waters. Matt Mullenweg himself recently called it “an excellent book” and said he had “enjoyed it.”

We’ll review the four agreements:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.

We’ll also cover how to operationalize these in the context of working with an open source community.

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