- Always assume good faith. Sikhiwiki has worked remarkably well so far based on a policy of nearly complete freedom to edit. People come here to collaborate and write good articles.
- Always keep calm – Don't engage in any personal attacks or in personal comments.
- Treat others as you would have them treat you - even if they are new. We were all new once...
- Please always be polite.
- Keep in mind that raw text is ambiguous and often seems ruder than the same words coming from a person standing in front of you. Irony isn't always obvious - text comes without facial expressions, vocal inflection or body language. Be careful of the words you choose - what you intended might not be what others perceive, and what you read might not be what the author intended.
- Please register yourself and Sign and date your posts to talk pages (not articles!), unless you have some excellent reasons not to do so.
- If you have not registered yourself, do not construct a signature that might make it appear that you have.
- Work toward agreement.
- Argue facts, not personalities.
- Don't ignore questions.
- If another disagrees with your edit, provide good reasons why you think it's appropriate.
- Concede a point, when you have no response to it; or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste.
- Be civil.
- Although it's understandably difficult in a heated argument, if other editors are not as civil as you'd like them to be, make sure to be more civil than they, not less. That way at least you're not spiralling down to open conflict and name-calling by your own accord, you're actively doing something about it: taking a hit and refraining from hitting back - everybody appreciates that (or at least they should).
- However, don't hesitate to let the other party know that you're not comfortable with their tone in a neutral way -- otherwise they might think you're too dense to understand their "subtlety", and you'll involuntarily encourage them (e.g. "I know you've been sarcastic above, but I don't think that's helping us resolve the issue. However, I don't think your argument stands because...").
- Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we hadn't. Say so.
- Forgive and forget.
- Recognize your own biases and keep them in check.
- Give praise when due. Everybody likes to feel appreciated, especially in an environment that often requires compromise. Drop a friendly note on users' talk pages.
- Remove or summarize resolved disputes that you initiated.
- Help mediate disagreements between others.
- If you're arguing, take a break. If you're mediating, recommend a break.
- Take it slow. If you're angry, take time out instead of posting or editing. Come back in a day or a week. You might find that someone else has made the desired change or comment for you. If no one is mediating, and you think mediation is needed, enlist someone.
- Walk away or find another SikhiWiki article to get absorb in — there are 1000's of articles needing attention! - write a new article.
- Avoid reverts and deletions whenever possible, and stay within the three-revert rule except in cases of clear vandalism. Explain reversions in the edit summary box.
- Amend, edit, discuss.
- Remind yourself that these are people you're dealing with. They are individuals with feelings and probably have other people in the world who love them. Try to treat others with dignity and understanding.
- Remember The Golden rule - "treat others as you want them to treat you."
How to avoid abuse of talk pages
- Most people take pride in their work and in their point of view. Egos can easily get hurt in editing, but talk pages are not a place for striking back. They're a good place to comfort or undo damage to egos, but most of all they're for forging agreements that are best for the articles they're attached to. If someone disagrees with you, try to understand why, and in your discussion on the talk pages take the time to provide good reasons why you think your way is better. Dialogue not Disagreement!
- Don't label or personally attack people or their edits.
- Terms like "fanatic," "sexist" or even "poorly written" make people defensive. This makes it hard to discuss articles productively. If you have to criticize, you must do it in a polite and constructive manner.
- Always make clear what point you are addressing, especially in replies.
- In responding, make it clear what idea you are responding to: Quoting a post is O.K., but paraphrasing it or stating how you interpreted it is better. Furthermore, qualify your interpretation with a remark such as "as you seem to be saying" or "as I understand you" to acknowledge that you are making an interpretation. Before proceeding to say that someone is wrong, concede you might have misinterpreted him or her.
- Interweaving rebuttals into the middle of another person's comments, however, is generally a bad idea. It disrupts the flow of the discussion and breaks the attribution of comments. It may be intelligible to the two of you but it's virtually impossible for the rest of the community to follow.
The best way to resolve a dispute is to avoid it in the first place.
Be respectful to others and their points of view. This means primarily: Do not simply revert changes in a dispute. When someone makes an edit you consider biased or inaccurate, improve the edit, rather than reverting it. Provide a good edit summary when making significant changes that other users might object to. The revision you would prefer will not be established by reverting, and repeated reverting is forbidden; discuss disputed changes on the talk page. If you encounter rude or inappropriate behaviour, resist the temptation to respond unkindly, and do not make personal attacks.
Writing according to the "perfect article guidelines" and following the NPOV policy can help you write "defensively", and limit your own bias in your writing.
First step: Talk to the other parties involved
The first resort in resolving almost any conflict is to discuss the issue on a talk page. Either contact the other party on that user's talk page, or use the talk page associated with the article in question. Never carry on a dispute on the article page itself. When discussing an issue, stay cool and do not mount personal attacks. Take the other person's perspective into account and try to reach a compromise. Assume that the other person is acting in good faith unless you have clear evidence to the contrary. If you want assistance, request an advocate to help you in presenting your thoughts in the issue.
Both at this stage and throughout the dispute resolution process, talking to other parties is not simply a formality to be satisfied before moving on to the next forum. Failure to pursue discussion in good faith shows that you are trying to escalate the dispute instead of resolving it. This will make people less sympathetic to your position and may prevent you from effectively using later stages in dispute resolution. In contrast, sustained discussion and serious negotiation between the parties, even if not immediately successful, shows that you are interested in finding a solution that fits within SikhiWiki policies.
Second step: Disengage for a while
A simple solution to a dispute is to stop having it — by leaving the article and/or bringing in an outside editor. This is particularly helpful when disputing with new users as it gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with SikhiWiki's policy and culture. Focus your contributions on another article where you can make constructive progress. Avoid going back to the page of dispute. Respond to questions about it on your user talk page and direct the questioner to take their issues to the article talk page to keep all relevant discussion in one place.
Take a long term view. In due course you will probably be able to return and carry on editing it, when the previous problems no longer exist and the editor you were in dispute with might themselves move on. In the meantime the disputed article will evolve, other editors may become interested and they will have different perspectives if the issue comes up again.
Further dispute resolution
If talking to the other parties involved and taking a break fails, you should contact another user to assist with the arbitration. If everything fails post a message on my user talk page