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Group Decision Tip: Know Your Lines

In principle, members of high-functioning groups know their roles and play them well. When group members are unsure of their roles they are hesitant to take initiative for fear of embarrassment or offending others. When group decision making is inefficient it is often because roles are not well defined and/or group members are not playing their parts.

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Lines are limits, a word derived from Latin limes. Lines are boundaries and it is helpful to know them and work within them. A line is also a set of words delivered in a play. In any good production, each player knows their lines.

Practical Tip: Take time to define expectations of each role within your group and make sure the expectations are widely understood. This is more than defining jobs, it is defining decision-making steps and expecting each member to keep step with the process; not act out of order. It is knowing when to weigh in and when to stand aside. It is the wisdom to know the difference between what to accept and what to change.

Craig Freshley on Facebook
Craig Freshley
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.

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