Tips

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.

Direct communication

Good Group Tips

In principle, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. When it comes to communications between two people, the shorter the better. It’s often easier to get information indirectly, and usually more fun. But indirect information is more like entertainment than fact. Direct communication builds true understanding.

Practical Tip: If you are wondering what someone thinks about something, or why they did something, or what they plan to do in the future, ask them directly. Do not speculate about it with others. Do not proceed based on assumptions. Get the story straight from the source. If you want someone to know what you think, or why you did something, or what you plan to do, tell them. Do not be silent, sneaky, or circuitous and “let them figure it out.” When you hear information indirectly like “she thinks this,” or “he said that,” know that what you are hearing is out of context, altered by the messenger, and only one side of the story.

Good group decisions are built on true understanding and true understanding comes straight from the source.

Put the Tips in action for your group. Click here to learn about Craig’s Keynotes and Seminars.
1 2 3 57