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Our interests

Good Group Tips

In principle, good group decisions result when we consider our interests rather than just my interests. My instinct is often to go into a conversation, negotiation, or group decision with the goal of satisfying my own interests, of getting what I want. The challenge is to go into a conversation not just looking out for my interests, but looking out for yours too.

It’s hard to consider what is in the best interest of two or more people, but the result might be a win for more than just me, perhaps a win for all involved. Failure to consider our interests often results in someone losing.

Practical Tip: Make decisions with multiple interests in mind, not just your own. The first step is to fully understand others’ interests, in addition to understanding and honestly sharing your own. Ask, “What about this issue is so important? Why is this important? What are the underlying interests?” Good group decisions start with good listening and shared understanding, and they end with win-win.

– Craig Freshley 

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2 thoughts on “Our interests

  1. Well said, Craig. Not only do we need to get beyond “my” interests, but we need to give a very broad definition to what “our” means. If it’s only our group, that may be a threat or do harm to other groups. “Our national” interest in the US does serious damage to billions in other countries and causes threats to our own, when simply doing things that will benefit all countries will improve everyone’s quality of life, including those in the US. If only policy makers in this country and the corporations behind them would let go of some of the “my” and embrace the very broad “our.”

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