Tips, Videos, Handouts

Freedom of speech

Good Group Tips

In principle, to make good group decisions we need to hear all perspectives. We need be able to openly disagree with respect and civility. We need to have the courage to speak what’s on our minds and hearts even in the face of opposition. When a group’s culture makes it not okay to voice certain views or when participants feel intimidated about sharing, those suppressed viewpoints don’t go away; they just fester and turn into conflict later.

Practical Tip: Help create a group culture that encourages open sharing of all points of view. Offer encouragement and support to those who express minority opinions, even if you disagree. Stand tall and speak your own truth, and be genuinely open to considering other truths.

Expressing our differing opinions gives us a chance to understand each other better, talk, and inch toward eventual resolution. When views are suppressed it might appear orderly in the short run, but inches us toward eventual conflict.

4 thoughts on “Freedom of speech

  1. Hi Jim, here’s another idea: Initiate a conversation with a colleague about one of the Tips. Show it to him or her and ask, “Hey, do you think something like this would ever work here? How might it work?” You might get some great insights.

  2. Thanks to Jim and Sharon for comments. I know some groups that start each meting by reading aloud a Tip. That’s just one idea for “getting them across.” Perhaps I will do a survey of all Tips subscribers and ask about how they are being used.

  3. Sharon, I have had the same experience. I like the message this tip gets across. I just wish I knew how to inform the others on my team about all of your wisdom, Craig! I’ve tried printing out the tips and posting them on the bulletin board, but I don’t know if they are being read. And suggestions?

  4. I’ve been in meetings in which someone shoots down an idea the moment it’s suggested and the spark is diminished. It’s a tricky thing to learn.

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