Tips, Videos, Handouts

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.

One-on-One

Good Group Tips

In principle, groups are apt to be most peaceful, most efficient, and make their best decisions when one-on-one conversations happen easily and often outside of group settings. Especially in the age of email it is tempting to make every conversation a group conversation, but group conversations by e-mail are often inefficient and cause conflict. If I have a question for a group member or a comment about a group member’s behavior, it is usually best for the group if I talk with that person one-on-one. 

In a one-on-one conversation it is easier to ask and answer direct questions, be honest, and find commonalities. One-on-one conversations build trust and shared understanding, cornerstones of good group decisions.

Practical Tip: Muster up the courage to talk one-on-one. Start with a question. Have an open mind. Seek first to understand.

If you want to show everyone how smart you are or want to publicly surprise your enemies to get the upper hand, save all your questions and comments for group settings. If you want your group to make the best possible decisions with the least amount of conflict, work quietly behind the scenes one-on-one.

Of course it’s okay to ask questions and make comments in group meetings or by group email. But especially if you sense conflict coming, try one-on-one first.

– 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.
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