Ideas and tips to get along and get stuff done------------ --ySeptember 13, 2023

These two......

Have you heard about these two? Pole vaulters Nina Kennedy and Katie Moon were competing in the World Championships last month in Hungary. After three over-time rounds, the only two still in contention, they each cleared 4.9 meters. Yet exhausted from 4 hours of competition, neither one managed to clear 4.95. Facing a jump-off one of them turned to the other and said, "Hey, girl, you maybe wanna share this?" The answer was immediate. Emotions melted. They both walked away as world champions.

Competition is Overrated

There’s a hypothesis woven into the fabric of every aspect of American culture. It goes like this: Let two or more people, products, or ideas compete and this will result in what’s best for the group. This hypothesis is an engine of innovation in business, in sports, in law, in health care, in schools, in families, everywhere. 

Yet the hypothesis is not always right. We kid ourselves into thinking that when two competing interests “duke it out” it somehow betters the gene pool or otherwise makes us all better as a human race. In reality, the rule goes like this: Let two or more people, products, or ideas compete and this will result in what’s best for the winner. I don’t believe in trickle-down economics and I don’t believe in trickle-down benefits from winners to losers. The hypothesis is often a myth in my opinion. 

Competition is not de facto bad, of course. A competitive mindset can serve society extremely well especially when there’s an abundance of resources. Competition has spurred magnificent human creations and inventions over the ages. Competition is a great way to generate ever higher achievements, no doubt. Yet the pendulum has swung too far. Competition has been too successful in generating know-how and technology to the point where now there is a frightening scarcity of resources. 

The root of the problem is this outdated paradigm. Our country’s political parties are competing with each other at the expense of the nation. World nations are competing with each other at the expense of the earth. It’s not new. Civilizations have competed with each other since the dawn of history: conquering, oppressing, and building wealth at the expense of others. 

Why not a different paradigm? A pendulum swing in the other way for a change? Toward collaboration. Let’s work together rather than against each other. Imagine a groundswell of popularity for collaboration. Imagine companies rewarding teams rather than individuals. Imagine collaborative sports and recreational activities rising in popularity on a par with competitive sports. Imagine school children being taught and modeled collaboration and communications skills, and rewarded for team/group success rather than individual success. Imagine game shows and talent shows rewarding teams instead of individual winners and losers. Imagine people who feel marginalized by competitive environments feeling valued as collaborators. So many people in America have shut down and withdrawn from civic affairs because it’s viewed as too competitive, even hostile. I have seen people withdraw from all sorts of groups and activities for fear of too much hostility. Why do we have to be so mean and so competitive with each other? 

The above is an excerpt from my book: Together We Decide

Together We Decide One-Year Anniversary!

Together We Decide was published on this day one year ago. It's been so fun and rewarding for me to have the book out there in the world, especially when I run across it in an airport bookstore!

And I love hearing that it's helped people. It's helped guide group decisions yet it's also helped readers find personal peace. Making decisions in groups is HARD. This book helps make it easier.

Special Price for a Month!

In honor of the one-year anniversary, I'm offering the hardcover edition for just $20! That's $7 off the retail price of $27. Not only that, I will personally sign your special edition.

Just send me an email with your shipping address and we'll take it from there. You will be able to pay by Venmo or credit card.

Learn about the book here. Offer ends October 12, 2023

Have you tried one of my Free Training Talk Shows?

They are quite popular, sometimes with over 100 folks signed up.

This next one is going to be super useful for anyone who wants a flash course in the basics of meeting facilitation.

Here's the thing about these free Training Talk Shows: they are just 50 minutes and packed with info. I even provide notes after with highlights of the session and links to lots of resources.

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

WEDNESDAY, September 27, 1pm Maine TimeH HRegister Here

Join me on October 5

Did you know that Banned Books Week is coming up?

To honor this special phenomenon (trying to prevent people from reading certain books) the Maine Humanities Council has organized a special online event. And they asked me to participate.

Even when there's fear and extremity in the air, how do stay calm and stay in the conversation?

Registration is free

Learn all about it and sign up here

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