Freedom of Speech

In principle, to make good group decisions we need to hear all perspectives. We need to be able to openly disagree with respect and civility. We need to have the courage to speak what is on our minds and hearts even in the face of opposition. When a group’s culture makes it “not okay” to voice certain views, or when participants feel intimidated about sharing, those suppressed viewpoints do not go away; they just fester and turn into conflict later.

Practical Tip: Help create a group culture that encourages open sharing of all points of view. Offer encouragement and support to those who express minority opinions, even if you disagree. Stand tall and speak your own truth, and be genuinely open to considering others.

Expressing our differing opinions gives us a chance to understand each other better, to talk and inch toward resolution. Suppressing opinions might appear peaceful in the short run, but it inches us toward conflict over the long run.