Conflict Prevention

Revenge is never a reason

Good Group Tips

In principle, just because you did something bad to me is never a reason for me to do something bad to you. Doing something for revenge or to get even just makes more bad things happen.

Sometimes we justify harming someone to teach them a lesson. If this is my goal, I should first ask, “What is the very best way for the lesson to be taught? Am I the best teacher? Is this the best method?” Probably not.

Another justification is that harming you will bring me peace. Really? If it is emotional peace that I want, I should first consider all the possible ways to get it, including changing my own attitudes and behaviors. Among all the options, revenge is rarely the most effective path to personal peace.

Practical Tip: Make decisions always in the best interests of the group going forward. Base decisions only on what you think will make the future better, not on what you think will fix the past. Decide to harm only as a last resort, when there are no other ways to achieve the group’s primary interests.

– Craig Freshley

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


Good Group Tips

In principle, decisions without enforcement grow weak and eventually wither. When rules or policies are not enforced it causes confusion, resentment, and conflict. The word enforcement comes from a Latin word meaning strength. To enforce decisions is to strengthen them.

Practical Tip: Take preventative measures to ensure that members of your group understand the rules of your group. Honor the rules of your group. If you disagree with the rules: Follow them anyway, leave the group, or work in peaceful ways to change the rules.

When you see someone breaking group rules, try these steps:

1.   Discuss with them what you saw. Don’t ignore it when you see practice out of sync with policy. Such a conversation may bring to light that they “simply didn’t know better,” or that they interpret the rule differently, or that a larger issue needs to be addressed. If that doesn’t work,

2.   Point out the consequences of the violation. “When you do ___________, it affects others in the following ways: ___________.” If that doesn’t work,

3.   Impose a penalty. Ideal penalties inflict just the right amount of hurt in order to tilt the scales toward compliance.

When rules are legitimately crafted through good group processes, it is okay to enforce them for the good of the group. Actually, it’s essential for the good of the group.

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

Conflict resolution steps

Good Group Tips

In principle, most conflicts are based on misunderstandings. When we make the effort to truly understand the other’s perspective and when we have shared understanding of future expectations, conflict often goes away.

Practical Tip: When in conflict, do something about it. Either change your attitude about it so it is no longer a conflict for you or work directly with your adversary. You might try these steps:

1. Pause. Breathe. Step away. Do not immediately react with words or actions you might regret later.

2. Share stories. Tell how the conflict came to be, what it was like from your perspective, and what it is like now. Listen to the other person’s story, how it was for them, and how it is now. Try to understand how the other person’s experience could lead them to their way of thinking and acting.

3. Share feelings. How does the conflict make you feel? Figure this out and share it. No one can argue with your feelings. Try to understand how others feel.

4. Share underlying interests. Why is this so important to you? What is the need in you that resolving this conflict will satisfy? What are your underlying, long-term interests? Share your answers to these questions and listen to the answers of others.

5. What are you going to do about it? Speak for yourself: what are you going to do differently so that underlying interests are achieved? Listen to what others intend to do. You might want to write down intentions in the form of a written agreement or contract.

6. Do it. Things will not change if people do not actually do things differently. Take responsibility for acting out your new intentions as best you can.

– 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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