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Write on the walls

Good Group Tips

In principle, good group decisions stem from shared understanding and shared understanding comes from reading off the same page.

Also, people like to feel heard and when people feel heard it allows the group to move on. A very effective way for someone to feel heard is for their point to get written for everyone to see.

Practical Tip: For every group meeting, have on hand the ability to write words in front of the group. Markers and a flip chart work well or you might use a laptop and projector. There are many creative ways.

When people make comments, paraphrase them on the chart or the screen. The words don’t need to be perfect, but representative of the view expressed.

When it seems like the group is agreeing to something, write words to represent the agreement. Make sure everyone understands and accepts the representative words.

Writing public words that represent viewpoints and agreements is a learned skill and requires focused effort. When done well it leads to shared understanding and individual empowerment — two key building blocks of good group decisions.

– Craig Freshley

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

6 thoughts on “Write on the walls

  1. I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. 🙂 thanks

  2. If you are going to paraphrase someone’s comments, make sure you ask them (after you’re finished) if what you wrote is what they meant. If someone goes on and on, ask them if they could summarize what they said in a headline.

  3. I like your tip. Write down to capture the idea and acknowlege the participant, check for accuracy (thanks Becky), keep it up on the wall for reference, group memory, and to be used when building new ideas. Once again a hit Craig. By the way – I really like large format paper (e.g., 4’x20′) and simple graphics for this.

  4. People don’t realize the power of looking at one set of words, of all heads and eyes looking in one direction, of having a common focus. Your tip makes it easier to get people to make the effort to do this. (Most people, I find, think that.)

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