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Ground Rules Deep Dive #5: Reject the Practice and Tactics of Blame

by Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

We have a president who loves to blame and complain. And, perhaps inspired by such modeling, community meetings now have more and more people who show up to do the same.

Pomegranate Center’s approach has always focused on possibilities. We want to create an atmosphere where the participants can express their hope and offer ideas for how things ought to be. We encourage all to see the gathering as a new beginning, to move beyond what we like or dislike personally and toward what will work for all.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #4: Respect Those With Whom You Disagree

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

Opponents are essential for uncovering valuable insights. Enemies are detrimental. They simply shoot down points of view that differ from their own.

Adversaries open our eyes. They help us see a problem from another angle. They remind us that every issue is multifaceted and that the right solution is not in choosing one viewpoint, but to link it to other equally important ones. The solution then can serve multiple uses.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #3: Everyone Participates

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

At every meeting, there are those who feel and think that they have the only right answer. Naturally, these active individuals put their ideas forth without hesitation. They may have thought about the issue for a while, or they consider themselves more expert, or they speak longer because it confirms their leadership role. In the meantime, those who are less certain are quietly listening and observing the proceedings. They may think that, compared to these more vocal leaders, their thoughts have less value. So, unless invited, they stay quiet and keep their thoughts to themselves.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #2: Confront Internal Contradictions

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #1: Turn Opposition Into Proposition

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

Read more