Tips, Videos, Handouts

Understanding is always partial

A quick reminder from Quaker Meeting.

Thanks for holding the camera Kitsie!

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.

Just finished a Quaker Meeting in this room where a woman said, “Understanding is always partial.” What a good reminder. You know sometimes I’m apt to think that I understand it all but I do well to keep in mind that I never understand it all. There are always other people that have a piece of the truth. There is always more for me to learn.

When I think I know it all, for one, I miss the opportunity of anybody else being able to contribute. And two, I miss the opportunity of me learning anything new.

Understanding it’s great. It’s wonderful for me to be able to say, “I get it, I understand that.” But it’s also great to be able to say, “I don’t understand it at all. I don’t know what else is to be revealed.”

You can help your group by always remembering that understanding is always partial.

Thanks for listening everybody.

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

Flat for planning, stacked for doing

Good Group Tips

In principle, different ways of deciding should be applied to different types of decisions.

Deciding how things should be—planning—is well-suited to a flat decision-making structure; that is, where several decision makers are equal and all fully participate. Some call this consensus decision making. As a rule, the longer and wider the reach of the plan, the broader and flatter the planning structure should be.

Deciding how to implement plans—doing—is better suited to hierarchical decision-making structure; that is, roles and responsibilities are stacked upon each other. There is a chain of command and accountability up and down the ladder. As a rule, the more expeditious and short-lived a decision is, the better it is to delegate it to an individual within a hierarchy.

Practical Tip: For each decision, first decide the type of decision: Is it more of a planning decision or more of an implementation-type decision? Will it have long-term, broad impact or short-term, local impact? Apply a decision-making method appropriate to the nature of the decision. Every group member need not decide small, implementation details. Long-term planning and high-level policy should not be in the hands of just a powerful few.

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

Not all about money

Good Group Tips

In principle, money absolutely matters but it’s not the only thing that matters. Money represents many valuable things yet fails to account for many things we value. Group decisions all about money often fail to consider adverse long-term effects on our emotions, on our relations, and on other groups, including future generations. This results in conflict at other times or in other places.

Money-based decisions also tend to miss opportunities that do not show up in the financial accounts of the alternatives: opportunities to increase long-term trust, peace, happiness, and other rewards in waiting.

Decisions motivated by profit tend to focus on short-term selfish impact rather than long-term community impact.

Practical Tip: When making group decisions, consider all potential costs and benefits. Consider how it will affect long-term peace among the group. Consider impacts outside the scope of your financial accounting: impacts on society at large, on the environment, on future generations.

The golden rule is: “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” not, “He with the most gold rules.” Actually, happiness does not result from having money or from ruling other people; it results from being at peace.

– 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.