Best solutions begin with oneself

In principle, when things are not right, a natural instinct is to want someone else to do something different, or to want a policy to be different. Rarely are these the best solutions. It’s easy to think that my problem would be solved if only you would change. It's easy to think that the law or policy, rather than me, is wrong, rather than me. Sometimes laws or other people's attitudes or behaviors need to change, but it is often easier and more effective to change my own attitudes or behaviors.

Practical Tip: Before going to your group to suggest a change in policy, or before going to another group member to suggest that he or she should change, ask yourself: “What is my part in this? What can I change about my own attitude or behavior to fix things?” If, after you have answered those questions and acted on the answers, you still find that things are not right, then ask your group or fellow group member to consider change. Working to change a governing policy just to fix an isolated problem can be very inefficient for many people. Working to change the behaviors of others without a willingness to change ourselves can take huge amounts of energy and may only damage relations. To help the efficiency of good group decisions the first question is not: “What should he or she or they do to make things better?” but rather: “What am I going to do to make things better?”

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