Ideas and tips to get along and get stuff done------------ -January 19, 2024

Feedback is

critical to success

I love hearing from you by email or on social media or however you like.

Here's a little video I made called Feedback is a Gift.

And here's a short Tip I wrote called Feedback Please!

And here's a free handout for you on Basics about Feedback/Performance Evaluation.

I received some terrific feedback from last month's Craig's News and I want to share it with you below.

Lighten Up?

In last month''s Craig's News I wrote about the term "LIghten Up!" and how it reminds me to choose light over dark, to "walk on the sunny side," to be light on my feet, and not take myself too seriously.

And then a friend gave me some feedback and pointed out that women sometimes hear “Lighten Up!” from a man and it is NOT a compliment. Rather it can be received as dismissive, patronizing, and disrespectful. Indeed, when anyone hears "lighten up" it can be received as an insult: that I’m too serious, too intense, that you wish I was different.

This is a very valid perspective that I hadn’t thought of when I wrote the little article. My new take-away is that Lighten Up! as a message to ME can be really helpful. That’s how I use it; as a prayer, a motto, as guiding words for myself. Yet to tell someone else to lighten up is probably not a good idea and can be insulting.

Thank you for that feedback!


Also in last month''s Craig's News, I promoted my new Conflict Prevention course (also promoted below) and received feedback from C.T. Butler, co-author of On Conflict & Consensus, a handbook for Formal Consensus decisionmaking. This book has been foundational for me, as it has been for many in the field of consensus decisions making, so I was truly honored to hear from C.T. and absorb what he had to say.

Here's what he wrote: "I maintain that conflict is GOOD and should be allowed and supported rather than avoided, repressed, prevented or feared. War is NOT conflict (contrary to popular opinion). War is the resolution of conflict using violence; massive, organized violence. A conflict, and the inability or unwillingness to resolve it without resorting to violence, is what caused the war. Our culture has a problem with avoiding and denying conflict, with good reason. Collectively, our primary and almost only way to resolve (any) conflict is to use violence (power over) or the threat of violence."

C.T.'s book (with co-author Amy Rothstein) is based on the premise that we should not seek to prevent conflict but rather seek to resolve it without violence; by consensus for instance. C.T. makes an excellent point and I highly recommend his book. And at the same time I've decided to continue to help groups prevent conflict because I think we need both: strategies to prevent unnecessary harmful conflict AND peaceful ways to resolve all types of conflict.

Thank you for that feedback!

New eLearning course with Intro Pricing

This course is designed to not only provide practical tips and tools, but to help you see things in new ways and to inspire you to significantly improve your abilities. The course is online and self-paced. Work through it on your own schedule.

This course is for you if:

  • You are a group leader who wants to prevent wasteful and destructive conflict
  • You are worried about conflicts in your own life
  • You want some simple techniques to prevent and reduce conflict
  • You want to teach others about preventing conflict
  • You know how costly conflict and be and want to reduce costs
  • You want to improve functioning and effectiveness of your group
  • You want to show credibility with a Certificate of Completion

Special Introductory Pricing until January 31, 2024

Start learning and investing in yourself today

Learn all about it here

Guns and Mental Health,

a Conversation

Please mark your calendars for Monday Jan. 22 at 5:30pm when Building Bridges will once again take on topics about which people have different opinions. Given the recent event in Maine, it is appropriate to have a meeting about Guns and Mental Health. Experts on the subjects (Prof Michael Rocque - Bates College, David Trahan - Sportsmen Alliance of Maine, and Margaret Groban - Maine Gun Safety Coalition) will share their thoughts, followed by Q & A and discussion to explore possible solutions. Your participation will enhance the conversation, lead to greater understanding and, hopefully, agreements.

Online. Free. Register here.

Please share this FREE WEBINAR with a Librarian

Librarians are facilitators. They help people learn new things. They are welcoming to all. They build community. They help people belong.

That's why I'm offering a special free Training Talk Show for librarians, and for anyone who sees themself as a community builder.

Join me and my special guest Dr. Sonya Durney, President of the Maine Library Association, as we share our passion for building community capacity and promoting civic dialogue. Learn skills that you can apply specifically to catalyze conversation around issues your community cares about. Leave feeling more confident in leading conversations and creating spaces that play vital roles in your community.

Not just for librarians! This session will help all people who want skills for facilitating conversations when there are differing views; even when it’s hard.

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

WEDNESDAY, January 24, 2024,1pm Maine TimeHRegister Here

To Help You Get Along
Craig's One-Page Tips
Craig's How-To Videos
Craig's News Archive
Craig's Book
Land Acknowledgment
Email Sign Up
Make Shift Coffee House
Craig's eLearning
Quaker Messages
Written and published by Craig Freshley. Thanks for walking along with me.
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