Conflict Prevention

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

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.

Putting people in boxes is not okay

Good Group Tips

In principle, when we look at people in certain ways, place labels on them, or “put them in boxes,” it limits what they have to offer. It is especially tempting to “contain” those who disagree with us. We’re tempted to ignore our adversaries, work around them, wall them off, shut them down. These techniques might help us win as individuals, but they work against making good group decisions.

In principle, the best group decisions come when we genuinely consider all offerings, not just the ones we like. In fact, what makes collaborative decisions better than individual decisions is the tension of initial disagreement. If you try to wall-off tension or put the tension-causer in a box, you may gain short-term peace but forgo more creative, enduring solutions.

Practical Tip: Muster the courage to really consider disagreement. Muster the discipline to work with people you don’t like. Resist labels, walls, and boxes and be open-minded to all offerings.

When someone is placed in a box — silenced, contained, ignored — they add about as much value to the decision as a cardboard box.

– 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.

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.

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