Tips, Videos, Handouts

Changing the process is rarely the solution

Good Group Tips

In principle, making good decisions together as a group requires three key ingredients: It requires good decision-making processes to be sure, but it also depends on the attitudes of individual participants and the actions they take. A group’s decision-making process is only part of what makes for good decisions.

Practical Tip: Use individual conversations to address individual issues. Realize that for many problems encountered by your group, the problem is not the group’s process. Problems are most often the result of individual beliefs or behaviors.

We often try to adjust group process as a backdoor way to address someone’s different beliefs or to get someone to change their behavior. Changing group policy often seems easier than having a one-on-one conversation, but one-on-one conversations save group time and energy.

– Craig Freshley 

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

Science trumps intuition

Good Group Tips

In principle, we believe things to be true because our intuition tells us so and/or because science tells us so.

Intuitive knowledge often comes quickly and is based on our direct and personal relationship with the thing that we are judging. It is a gut feeling.

Scientific knowledge comes more slowly because, by definition, it has to be verifiable. Scientific methodology requires us to observe something repeatedly and see the same thing each time, or to do an experiment repeatedly and achieve the same results.

Intuition is the far-easier path and we often take it just for that reason. Science is harder but, when available, it is a better basis for decisions. When science is at odds with intuition, it can be gut-wrenching.

Practical Tip: If good science about the decision before you is available, use it. Even when the science points to inconvenient truths, at odds with intuition, or seemingly impossible to accept, these are not excuses for denying or altering the truth.

Good group decisions are based on the best knowledge available to the group. Where there is no science-based knowledge, use intuition. Where good science exists, accept it and act on it.

– 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.

Shared expectations minimize conflicts

 Good Group Tips

In principle, most conflicts are because of mismatched expectations. Where the expectations are really different the conflict can be really big. No one likes disappointment—when you think something is going to be one way and then it changes. The best prevention is a shared expectation of how things are going to be, who is going to do what, how things are going to work. 

Practical Tip: Among two or more people with a shared task, figure out your shared expectations and write them down (or at least say them) so you can test your shared understanding. Contracts are shared expectations written down, so are ground rules and guidelines and bylaws. The process of writing these documents forces us to out our expectations and understand each other.

If you don’t take time to discuss expectations with those you plan to depend on, best not to have any.

– 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.