Conflict Prevention

If you don’t have a stake, get out of the way

Good Group Tips

In principle, those who have a stake in the outcome—stakeholders—are the most appropriate participants in good group decisions. They stand to win, perhaps a lot, or lose a lot depending on the decision. In principle, those with the highest stakes tend to consider decisions most carefully. People who don’t have a real stake may want to participate but may not consider issues deeply because they do not have to. Non-stakeholders may give opinions based on shallow considerations, and those opinions can be in the way of the true stakeholders trying to achieve a good group decision.

Practical Tip: If you don’t have a real stake in the decision, don’t weigh in on the discussion. If you are about to say, “Well, I really don’t care either way, but…” or “It doesn’t matter to me, but…” consider saying nothing instead.

– 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.

Right to be wrong

Good Group Tips

In principle, in relations among equals, people have a right to be wrong.

Often it is only by being wrong for a while — trying on an opinion that doesn’t fit — that one comes to realize what is truly right. Without the freedom to be wrong one is often in tension, discontent with the present, wishing for a different way.

When I think you are wrong and I am right, the question is not “How can I make you change?” but rather, “Given our different opinions, how shall I move forward peacefully?”

Practical Tip: If we disagree and I think you are wrong and I am right, it works well for me to say my opinion but it doesn’t work well for me to talk down to you or think bad of you. It works well for me to hear your opinion with a genuine desire to understand but it doesn’t work well for me to shut you down or write you off.

Let us acknowledge our different opinions but move forward anyway. Rather than stall and fight, let us either live with our differing opinions for a while, try on more opinions, and continue our dialogue with mutual respect; or let us go our different ways in peace.

Just like you have a right to be wrong, so do I, and it works well to be always mindful that perhaps I am.

– 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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