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Opt out

Good Group Tips

In principle, there are many things out of my control but, for most of us, within my control is how I spend my time and money. I get to decide what to participate in and what to opt out of. I cannot control a television show but I can opt out of watching it. I cannot control how a consumer product is made but I can opt out of buying it.

Another choice I have when I confront something I do not like is to try to defeat it. This is doing battle, sometimes in a straight path of destruction. Opting out is a winding path.

Both fighting and opting out affect the provider of the product or message we dislike. When people in large numbers opt out of buying a product, the provider stops providing it. Boycotting is a very effective way to make good group decisions, and peaceful.

Practical Tip: Don’t opt out of agreements already made but with new choices, steer your time and money away from things you oppose. Each personal choice you make sends a message.

As a group, make choices based on participation. If people aren’t showing up or otherwise contributing to a particular activity, discontinue 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.

Criticism private

Good Group Tips

In principle, the cause of most criticism is the critic’s need to react to something painful, yet public reaction often causes more pain. When you think someone’s action or statement deserves criticism, first consider why. Will criticizing make you feel better? Teach them a lesson? You can probably accomplish these by criticizing privately. You might even achieve the first one by talking with a friend, or yelling or crying; get it off your chest. If you want to criticize in order to start a fight or create conflict, then you might want to do it publicly (for instance, send an e-mail to more people than the person you are criticizing). Sometimes that is what is called for, but only sometimes, when more peaceful means of achieving the group mission are exhausted.

Practical Tip: When you have an adverse reaction to someone’s words or actions, do not react right away. First try to understand the behavior or words better. Be thoughtful about the reason for your reaction; what purpose will it serve? Only when you think your group needs public conflict should you publicly criticize. Otherwise, talk privately with the person you have an issue with. Start with asking a question about what they said or did.

PS: Another reason we sometimes criticize is to make someone feel small. This is never a good reason for public or private criticism. Good group decisions result when people make each other feel big, valued, appreciated.

– 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.

Teacher Appreciation

Thank you Professor Eugene Mawhinney!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Craig explains what made his teachers great and encourages us to teach each other, by example.

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.

It’s teacher appreciation week and here in Maine our Commissioner of the Department of Education is encouraging people to make little videos thanking their teachers.

I would like to thank Professor Eugene Mawhinney who taught Constitutional Law at the University of Maine. Gene Mawhinney was a great teacher because, not only did he have command of constitutional law, he also held us to high standards. But he also engendered in us a love for law and for the Constitution.

Here’s inside the book by the way; pretty beat up, written all over. I loved this course. Duct tape on the outside.

Now many of us have had great teachers in the classroom; you might call it book learning. But a lot of us learn about good group decisions from other people in the group. Those are our teachers too; the elders, the veterans, the people who don’t just talk about how to do things but who do things in ways that work really well for the group. Follow those people. And if you are one of those people, continue to set a good example and be a good teacher.

I hope this helps you 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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