In principle, making good group decisions is really hard, a lot harder than making bad decisions. Getting along with each other and making peaceful, lasting decisions takes a lot of practice.
Act is part of the word practice. We don’t get better without action. We do things poorly until we can do them well. It is not so important that we succeed, but that we try.
Practical Tip: We practice the principles of good group decisions as best we can. For guidance we ask ourselves, “What would a peaceful person do?” We don’t just talk about how to make peaceful decisions, or read about it, or think about it — we practice making good group decisions. Most of us are not very good peacemakers but when we try to act as if we are, our world becomes more peaceful.
– Craig Freshley
Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.
4 thoughts on “Act as if”
Craig, great tip….and I fully support Lisa and her reference to Covey’s 7 Habits, ‘seek first to understand before asking to be understood’. This is a key principle of mine in group decision work. I also believe the process to ensuring great decisions is a simple five step process which I use Collaboration technology (MeetingSphere) to support. It works by ensuring all voices/perspectives and ideas are heard in the group before we start analysis, deeper dive and consolidation (synthesis) so everyone in the group is taken through the entire process (no passengers!). The debate is often veciferous because the anonymous and simultaneous first step (brainstorm) is what reveals the whole range of possible outcomes – but without the concious or unconcious bias, only hearing from ‘some’ of the people in the room and by giving an equal voice to everyone, despite the rank. Would love to share more if anyone is interested.
I liked all of your tips but this one seemed like a foundation on which the others are built. It also implies that as an attitude or mindset, it requires effort, practice and resolve to implement – features of good leadership. “Understand first” is very similar – one of Steven Covey’s 7 habits which I carry with me as a frequent reminder. Thanks for sharing these and a peaceful new year to you!
In addition to the wonderful question “What would a peaceful person do?” I suggest the question: “What will serve the highest good of this group and me, and the planet, as well?” Why? Because it helps people focus on the link between their personal identity and needs and their group (and planetary) level identity and needs, something so foreign to our culture and something I feel is so essential for community living.