Tips, Videos, Handouts

Make amends

Good Group Tips

In principle, to amend is to change. To make amends is an action, not just a thought or a statement.

When we have done someone wrong we might apologize. Indeed, “I’m sorry” can be very helpful. At the very least it acknowledges wrong doing.

More than apologies, amends go further in strengthening relationships and building trust. To make an amend is to actually try to mend a past wrong (put things back the way they were, clean up the mess, give money to pay for something lost or broken) and/or put something (a new attitude or a new behavior) in place to help prevent a similar wrong from happening again in the future. To make an amend is to do something or change something; it’s more than to say something.

Practical Tip: When you have done someone wrong make an amend. To start an amend with words is okay as long as the words are something like, “What can I do to make things right?” To complete an amend requires follow through with an appropriate action. Actually do something. Change something.

Making genuine amends liberates the individuals involved and strengthens the group as a whole.

– Craig Freshley

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Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.

Best solutions begin with self

Good Group Tips

In principle, when things are not right, a natural instinct is to want someone else to do something different or to want a policy to be different, but rarely are these the best solutions. It is easy to think my problem would be solved if only you would change. It is easy to think that the law or policy is wrong, rather than me. Sometimes laws or other people’s attitudes or behaviors need to change, but it is often most effective to change my own attitudes or behaviors.

Practical Tip: Before going to the leaders of my group and suggesting a policy change, or before going to another group member and suggesting they should change, I ask, “What is my part in this? What can I change about my own attitude or behavior to fix things?” If I have answered those questions, acted on the answers, and still things aren’t right, then I ask my group or fellow group member to consider a change.

When we work to change a governing policy to fix an isolated problem, it can be hugely inefficient for many people. When we work to change the behaviors of others without willingness to change ourselves, it can take huge amounts of energy and result in damaged relations.

To help the efficiency of collaborative decisions the first question is not, “What should he or she or they do to make things better?” but rather, “What am I going to do to make things better?”

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.

Men, Make Room

In this short video Craig explains that men have a responsibility to help women be heard.

That is, if you want good group decisions.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey it’s Craig Freshley here. Now I know that there is a danger in categorical judgments, but I’m going to make one because this is something that I have seen over and over again in my meetings.

Men tend to talk more. Women tend to defer more. I bet that if you tracked the data in the last 100 meetings that I have been in……let’s say you looked at the proportion of men and women in each of those meetings and if you looked at the proportion of time of men talking and women talking, you would find that a disproportional amount of the time is dominated by men.

Now if your goal in the meeting is to get your way, to get the whole group to affirm what you already know to be true — without even having to hear from anybody else — then yeah, you should be a bit of a bully. You should dominate the conversation, you should interrupt others, and take up as much airtime as you can with your point of view. But if your goal is for the group to make a good decision with the very best available information and the very best chances of implementation because of buy-in, then spend more time listening and less time talking. Make room for everyone.

Now if you’re a man you might be thinking, “Well, if women don’t speak up that’s their fault; it’s their responsibility.” But I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think it’s a shared responsibility like pregnancy is a shared responsibility.

If you are a man in a meeting and you are thinking about making a comment — you know exactly what you want to say and you’re about to jump in — I’m encouraging you to pause, look around the room, especially at the women in the room, and give a chance for one of those women to take your turn. When I’m on my best behavior that’s what I do and I have found that the benefits are pretty amazing.

Men, make room. It will help your group make good decisions.

Thanks for listening everybody.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.
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