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Define the edges

Good Group Tips

In principle, the center of a circle is equidistant from all points on its perimeter. We need to know the edges to know the center. To know what’s centrally acceptable to a group of decision makers, it helps to know the outer limits of acceptability: what’s unacceptable.

Practical Tip: Say wild ideas. Make bold proposals. Be provocative. Know that the group is actually well-served when someone responds, “Now that’s going too far,” or, “That’s stepping over the line.” Like a flashlight investigating a dark basketball court, shine it all over to find the boundaries.

If you are having a hard time defining how something should be, work for awhile on defining how it should not be. Try stuff on so you know what doesn’t fit. Explore side roads so you know which ones dead end. Work inward from what you know is out of bounds.

PS: Don’t be attached to clothes that don’t fit or roads that go nowhere.

– Craig Freshley

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

2 thoughts on “Define the edges

  1. Hi, Craig: in your post, I hear you implying another great benefit of scanning the edges–in doing so, the group is likely to find areas of common ground, even if it’s “Well, none of us would agree to THAT.” Great place to start.

  2. A really great tip to help teams/groups really explore the
    boundaries and get at core values shared by the team

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