Things you want and don’t want in your family or group

by Rod Smith

Things you don’t want, and, what you do want in your family, church, business, school, or not-for-profit organization:

  • You do not want peacekeeping. Peacekeeping is the often-nervous dance to avoid conflict. It seeks to protect everyone’s feelings and wants everyone to look as if they get along (even when they don’t). It accommodates weaknesses to the extreme all in the name of care. You do want peacemaking. It creates an environment where necessary conflict is welcomed and, when handled well, the outcome is an enduring and authentic peace.

  • You don’t want scripted opinions and conversations which satisfy some imagined or hoped-for image. You do want freedom to think and to express opinions that may be contrary to the party line.

  • You don’t want uniformity and sameness so lock-step ways seep into thinking, speaking, and acting (and then lead ultimately to resentment and cut-offs). You do want unity around established goals with the accompanying freedom to challenge and modify the goals as needed.

  • You don’t want a “yes-sir” or “yes-mam” culture where the parent or the boss is always right and always affirmed and seldom challenged. You do want a respectful, free environment where a necessary “no-sir” and “no-mam” are considered sometimes necessary and healthy and are respected and encouraged.

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