Tips, Videos, Handouts

Single-tasking

Good Group Tips

In principle, even though multi-tasking seems ever more popular, the fact remains that focusing on one goal at a time is the surest way to achieve them. Juggling many balls may appear impressive, but the more balls in the air the greater the chance of dropping one, or several. Groups are especially prone to failure when trying to do too many things at once, and especially prone to success when everyone is focused on a single task.

Of course, to focus on a single task the single task must be well defined. Many groups flounder because the participants are not clear on what they are supposed to be doing. Absent a well-defined problem to be solved or objective to be achieved, group members can’t be blamed for coloring outside the lines or getting off track. What lines? What track?

Practical tip: When you meet with others to make a decision, define the task at hand and then focus on achieving it. Resist the temptation to simultaneously check e-mail or have side conversations or view other screens or work on other projects. Even when bored or when you think you have nothing to contribute, meditate and search within for creative solutions. Listen to others for deep understanding. Quietly jot notes on how things could be better. Even though silent, there are many ways to contribute to the group task.

Discourage other group members from weaving in and out of participation, distracted by other things.

The magic of groups happens when several brains and hearts are focused on a single task. The frustration of groups happens when undefined or multiple tasks suck energy from singleness of purpose.

– 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 we could with what we had

In principle, it’s really good to be able to say, “We did the best we could with the time, tools and information that we had.” Notice the past tense. We DID something, even with limited resources. Many groups get stuck and fail to achieve anything because they don’t have enough time, tools, or information to make as good or as big a decision as they would like.

Actually, groups never have enough time, tools or information to make perfect decisions. The trick is to do the best you can with what you have rather than be stuck while waiting or wishing for more resources.

By the way, to do “the best we could” does not mean “the most we could.” Often, less is best. Doing our best is usually about quality, not quantity.

Practical Tip: If you start to fall short of a deadline, honor the deadline anyway, perhaps even with a lesser product or service. Pushing off a deadline once or twice for good reason is fine, but repeatedly missing deadlines to achieve perfection often just results in missed deadlines and stalled projects. Honoring deadlines with lesser achievements is at least progress in the right direction and helps us learn along the way.

When others fall short of deadlines or other expectations, give them a break. One’s ability to achieve is always related to one’s blessings and burdens. I once heard someone say, “My mom did the best she could with the tools and information that she had.”

– 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.

Connections

Good Group Tips

In principle, the connections between us allow a group of us to make better decisions than any one of us could on our own. The connections between things have actual value and this is why the total value of things connected is often greater than the sum of the parts. New energy can be created, or unlocked, just by virtue of things being connected.

The concept is called synergy and it is at work behind the scenes wherever new things are created: new ideas, new plants and creatures, new decisions about our future.

It’s good to have stuff like buildings, roads and accessories but it’s the stuff between the stuff that dramatically adds value; our connections with each other.

Practical Tip: Focus on the relationships rather than on the material gains and losses. Buildings, roads and accessories are important but to make good decisions for our future we also need trust, predictable roles and shared values; the stuff of relationships.

Don’t burn bridges. Try not to even damage them. Better yet, maintain and strengthen them. I once heard a transportation commissioner say that any road is only as good as its worst bridge.

– 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.