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From the CommunityAuthor Archives: Craig Freshley

Blogger Bio:  Group Decision Tips are written by NCDD member Craig Freshley, a long-time meeting facilitator and group process author. Craig invites NCDDers to view all his Tips at www.groupdecisiontips.com, and to share them freely for non-commercial purposes with proper credit to Craig.

Group Decision Tip: Light Hand on the Tiller

In principle, when the sailboat is nicely trimmed; that is, the sails are set perfectly for the wind and direction of travel, the skipper can have a light hand on the tiller. The tiller is what steers the boat, connected to the rudder. Ideal sailing is no pressure on the rudder and no need to hold the tiller tight. Often groups sail almost by themselves, with perhaps a facilitator, leader, or supervisor on watch. When there is little tension, one can lead passively by making […] (continue)

Group Decision Tip: A Way to Talk

In principle, in order for people to avoid conflict there has to be a way for them to talk. When in tension with someone else in my group, rather than talk with them directly, it is easiest to assume a superior position and take steps to prove my righteousness. It is also relatively easy to propose changes to the system in which we both operate: new rules, new policies, new ways of doing things that I think will make the tension go away. But both of […] (continue)

Group Decision Tip: Decision Method Right-sized

In principle, the amount of energy (time, money, etc.) invested in a group decision should be in proportion to the amount of impact it’s likely to have. The magnitude of the impact is a combination of how many people are affected, how deeply, and for how long into the future. Consensus decisions are best suited to those that we expect to affect many people and last a long time—decisions that are expected to live longer than the current generation of decision makers. Consensus decisions are […] (continue)

Group Decision Tip: Resentments Have Roots in Expectations

In principle, when we have expectations of others that don’t pan out it often leads to resentment which often brews discontent which often causes conflict. I have heard someone say that expectations are planned resentments. The surest way to avoid resentment is to not have expectations. When I fall into a victim role it’s helpful to remember that I am rarely a victim of others and often I am a victim of my own expectations. Practical Tip: As a participant in group decisions, I try […] (continue)

Group Decision Tip: Self-Evident

In principle, the best decisions are made when the answer is self-evident to everyone. When a group of reasonable people have a shared goal and they freely share information about the current situation and options for achieving that goal, they are very likely to come to a shared conclusion about what to do. When the decision making process allows all participants to see all the evidence, the right thing to do reveals itself. Practical Tip: Do not lead a group to a pre-established conclusion but […] (continue)

Start with a Question

My name is Craig Freshley and I’m in Brunswick, Maine. My one-page Group Decision Tips are shared around the world and are all posted for free at: www.GroupDecisionTips.com. There are about 140 Group Decision Tips available: all one-page pdf’s. They cover all topics relevant to group decision making: communications, conflict, leadership, policy development, facilitation techniques, etc. Sandy Heierbacher has been a fan of the Tips for years and I have been a fan of NCDD. She invited me to share some of my Tips via this […] (continue)