You decide how

Good Group Tips

In principle, when everyone has the same objective or interest, details are best decided closest to the action, on the ground floor, on the front line, by the people with the most information. It works well to give a group a task and let them decide how to get it done.

Practical Tip: If giving a task to a group, be clear on the objectives. If receiving a task as a group, be clear on the objectives. When everyone is clear on the objectives let each person do what they do best. Let a group split up responsibilities for themselves.  Let them change responsibilities, including leadership, according to task.

Don’t decide too much. Leave how-to details for the doers.

– Craig Freshley

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Head, heart, and hands

Good Group Tips

In principle, if we want our group decisions to be creative—that is, result in new and better ways of doing things—we need to draw on all our resources and blend them in new ways. Typical meetings are structured to put our heads together and, indeed, our knowledge and ideas are a tremendous resource. But we have more. Why not go further and put our hearts together, share our feelings, stories, fears, and passions? Further still, why not put our hands together and do physical activities as a group?

A group decision process that includes intellectual exchange, sharing from the heart, and hands-on physical activity is most likely to yield creative results.

Practical Tip: Don’t just do brainstorming, try heartstorming. Don’t just sit and talk about stuff together, get up and do stuff together, with your hands.

If you want truly creative group decisions, share ideas, feelings, and activities…all three.

– Craig Freshley

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Multiple truths


In principle, it is very rare for any two or more people to agree that a certain thing happened exactly the same way or for exactly the same reasons. How things look always depends on where one sits and no two people have the same perspective.

Many times I have heard a single event described by multiple people in multiple ways. He says this happened and she says that happened. Does this mean that one is right and one is wrong, or that one is lying and one is telling the truth? Maybe, but if they are honest people with good intentions they are probably both telling the truth as they see it.

Groups can spend huge amounts of energy and create huge amounts of conflict trying to agree on a single version of the truth. Such activities rarely end peacefully or constructively.

Practical Tip: Say, “I can see how that’s true for you.” Understand that although someone might have a different truth than you, it’s true for them. More often than not, it doesn’t matter what really happened or why. I don’t need to beat my fellows into seeing things my way. My group is much better served if we can find a solution that honors both your truth, whatever it is, and my truth, whatever it is.

Instead of wrestling with “this or that,” try “this and that.” Allow that seemingly contradictory things can both be true for different people with different perspectives. It’s amazing how much conflict can be avoided, how much respect can be preserved, and how much creativity can unfold when we allow for multiple truths.

-Craig Freshley

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