Ideas and tips to get along and get stuff done-------- ---- -May 16, 2024

Information is Over-rated

I know it's the information age, yet I declare that information is over-rated and that Google is a show stopper. Information in abundance seems like an unconditionally good thing, but I’m not buying it. Our knee-jerk efforts to seek and provide information often shut down conversations and cheapen relationships. Here are three examples.

I was in the back of the crowd at a music festival. Just arrived. A blues band was killin it on the stage. I texted my friends in the crowd with a photo of the band: "Just got here. Who's that on the East Stage? Wow!" A response came immediately with a link to the schedule. And then no other comments. I know, technically, they were providing the information I sought. But of course I could have looked up the schedule! What I wanted was CONVERSATION about the band, and to connect - in conversation - with others in the crowd.

I was in a text conversation and my conversation partner mentioned TTPD. "What's TTPD?" I asked. "Google it" came the swift response. Good information, of course. But at that moment I didn't want a research detour. I was in the middle of a conversation. I wanted to hear HER explanation about that - so much more interesting than what the internet would tell me - and then I could reply back. About what she said.

I was trying to engage with a high school kid. "So who are your favorite teachers?" I asked. His dad immediately stepped in with the answer. But honestly, I cared way less about the actual information than how the kid would answer the question. I was trying to make conversation, not get information.

Easily accessible information often short-cuts the art of conversation. What's really interesting in a conversation is the struggle with the hard questions; when the answer is actually not immediate. And a shared struggle - a conversation around something we're both questioning - brings us together. Many times in a conversation I don't actually want the factual answer to the question I'm asking you, I want to see how you answer it. I want to talk with you about it. Usually the last thing I want is to bring in a factual authority to stop the debate. It's the debate that I'm here for.

Just like capitalism has wired us to seek convenience over quality, capitalism also wants us to seek information over conversation. We have been programmed by advertisers to want the most convenient thing rather than the thing that might provide a richer experience. And similarly, we are being programmed to seek information though a screen rather than conversation with a friend or neighbor. Why? As an advertiser, if I can turn your attention away from your friend and to a screen, then while you're there I can sell you stuff.

Continued here, and comments

50 Minutes of Free Training about Conflict - Wed May 22

Conflict is not always bad. It’s often from conflicting ideas that new, better ideas are born. It’s by working through conflict that creativity happens.

In this session I’m going to discuss the common causes of conflict, how to prevent these causes, and how to successfully manage conflict when it’s happening. I will also discuss simple steps for conflict resolution.

I will be sharing all kinds of strategies so you can effectively prevent bad conflict, manage good conflict, and perhaps most importantly, make peace with yourself when in the midst of conflict.

And I’m going to ask you to share YOUR strategies. It’s a TALK Show. We’re going to talk and listen and learn from each other. And after the session I will provide each participant with Highlight Notes from what we discussed, including links to resources.

My Training Talk Shows are always free. Always interactive. Just 50 minutes online.

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2024, 1pm MaineTime Register Here

How Quakers Handle Conflict

It's not that Quakers avoid conflict, it's that Quakers have a better way of handling conflict. With nonviolent action. That's what Quaker researcher and activist George Lakey says in this podcast. He explains that the evidence is clear: compared with violent action, nonviolent action is twice as successful. Having made a career of studying this issue and having developed the Global Nonviolent Database, he knows what he's talking about.

Conflict is not categorically bad or good, it just is. What matters is how we resolve conflict. It can be resolved by violence; think mean words, oppression, and war. Or it can be resolved without violence; think compassionate words, humanitarian aid, and peaceful protests. In this podcast George Lakey conveys hope with regard to the current political divide. "We're gonna get to forge a new society," he explains.

If even remotely interested in all things Quaker, I recommend this high-quality podcast.

Check out the topics here. 31 episodes so far. You might find one you like.

Have you heard of this AMAZING resource?

Ann Macfarlane and her team offer guides, handouts, workshops, and articles to all kinds of elected officials.

On May 23 at 10am Pacific Time, Ann is offering a Live Workshop on to to handle a

Difficult Board Chair or Member.

Learn more and sign up here. This is just one of MANY upcoming courses that you can access.

If you are on a School Board, Town or City Council, or any type of civic leader. check out Ann's website for vault of useful information on how to face common challenges.

Highly recommended. Learn more here.

Pay What You Want for my Tips, Videos, and Handouts

For many years I have been making and posting free resources to help groups make good decisions.

I have made 147 how-to videos on communications, conflict, meeting facilitation, collaboration, and many related topics. These videos were made on location in meeting rooms, on side-walks, and in all kinds of settings. They are mostly 2-3 minutes and have transcripts.

I have made 168 one-page tips on all aspects of group dynamic and getting along in groups. Each one describes a timeless principle and then a practical tip that you can use right away.

I have made 27 handouts which I use in my training sessions. Available to you.

You can search these resources by keyword and you can organize them by category, by date, or alphabetically.

Please show your support by signing up for unlimited access to all these resources.

Pay whatever you want to join the Good Group Decisions community. Sign up here.

Did you know it's Little Free Library week?

To the right is my Little Free Library.

Well, the neighborhood's. I'm the steward.

And it's so fun to steward! I love finding new books in it, and putting new books in it when needed. And it has a journal where people leave love notes. For the library.

You might consider hosting your own Little Free Library. Or donating money to the Little Free Library nonprofit. Or donating books to the next Little Free Library you find.

Like all libraries, Little Free Libraries build community and help hold us together.

Please forward this email to friends and colleagues

More Links To Help You Get Along

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Written and published by Craig Freshley. Thanks for walking along with me.
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