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Admit mistakes

Good Group Tips


In principle,
 we know we’re prone to make mistakes; it’s part of being human. And, we know that mistakes are our best teachers. Learning from small mistakes prevents big mistakes. Yet we’re prone to cover up our mistakes, especially in our groups, and this can make a mess of things.

Collaborative decisions require humility among group members. I serve my group when I say, “I don’t have all the answers, I don’t do everything right, and it is okay for others to not be perfect.”

Accepting that we are not perfect frees us to move on from mistakes without burden. Admitting mistakes helps us learn from them and let go of them.

Practical Tip: Be on honest watch for mistakes, perhaps by taking a regular evening recount of the day’s successes and mistakes. I try to isolate my mistakes from mistakes or behaviors of others—what was my part? In the case of a mistake made, admit your mistake to yourself and at least one other person. If an apology or amend is in order, do it.

Humility lightens our load and our outlook.

– Craig Freshley

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If it fits in my head, it’s probably too small

 Good Group Tips

 

In principle, big ideas are always the result of putting our heads together. Really big ideas are already out there in the heads of many people just waiting to be put together. Without sharing my ideas with fellows and without openness to new ideas I am a prisoner of my own limitations, incapable of more than I can imagine.

Practical Tip: I serve the group best when I am humble. I accept that I probably don’t have all the best answers and if I do, the question is surely small. I talk with others about my ideas and their ideas. I release my ideas, let them be criticized, and let others build on them. I trust the wisdom of the group.

It’s okay that I don’t understand everything; that it doesn’t all fit in my head. I am open to ideas and achievements beyond my imagination.

– Craig Freshley

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Ask, don’t tell

Good Group Tips

In principle, good group decisions are based on shared understanding and shared understanding comes from asking questions of each other. When we tell a peer what they should do without first asking their opinion, we risk having made a decision without the benefit of all available information. And we risk missing the opportunity for advance support of the decision.

Don’t ask, don’t tell contributes to inaction. Tell, don’t ask contributes to oppression. Ask, don’t tell contributes to good group decisions and resulting good actions.

Practical Tip: In relations among relatively equal peers, ask someone’s opinion before telling them what to do.

Facilitating leaders ask. Commanding leaders tell. Facilitating shared understanding and advance support for an action dramatically increases chances of it being implemented well.

Asking rather than telling is a spiritual attitude of humility and a practical way to muster all available information and enthusiasm.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

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