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When to unpack conflict as a group

When should the whole group confront a conflict, and when not to? In this video, Craig explains that if it’s truly “in the way,” then you are going to have to “unpack” it. And he explains why.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey, it’s Craig Freshley here. Sometimes there’s something that happened in a group which has upset a lot of people and there’s some people in the group that just can’t move forward, or you know it’s attention that is in the way of getting stuff done. There’s often a discussion about whether we need to as a group confront that thing and talk about it or can we just, you know, move on without talking about that thing.

I have come to believe that if you’ve got a thing, a resentment, a disagreement, a misunderstanding, somebody’s angry at somebody – if you’ve got a thing like that that is in the way of making forward progress on other things, you should talk about it as a group. Three reasons why.

One is: if you don’t, that thing is going to come up in other ways and other settings anyway. It’s going to continue to plague your group.

Number two: Until you talk about it, there is a power imbalance and it’s because some people in the group know about the thing and some people don’t, and it’s just a weird dynamic and a sense of uncertainty among some people of not really knowing the story.

Number three: By unpacking and talking about the thing, you’ll learn some new things. You’ll “out” some lessons learned. You will be a better group going forward because you unpacked the thing.

Now, the way that you unpack the thing is critical. It helps if you have a professional or somebody from among your group who knows what they’re doing. It helps if you encourage people to simply tell their stories from their own individual perspective and it helps if you don’t try to draw any grand conclusion about the thing. You don’t need to do that. The goal of unpacking a thing that’s in the way of making forward progress is shared understanding of the thing, so everybody can move forward in a healthy and productive way.

I hope this helps you help your group make good decisions.

Thanks for listening everybody!

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