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Part V: More Tools and Techniques > When All Else Fails

Chapter 17. When All Else Fails

When you have tried everything in your tool kit and you still feel that the group is stuck, ask the group:

  • Is this issue still worth solving?

  • If yes, then the group has found common ground and reaffirmed their commitment to tackle the issue. If the answer is no, then perhaps the time is not right to continue. The only thing worse than not solving the issue is wasting everyone’s time. Before giving up, ask if the group is willing to take some time to think about where we are and come back to the next meeting with at least one idea that we could use to get going again. Usually, the thought of “giving up after all this effort” is enough to get the group going again.

  • Can we test our way to consensus?

  • Instead of arguing over how to proceed, can we agree to try any one of the options and let the results speak for themselves? If it doesn’t work, then we can either modify it until it does work or try the next one until we find one that meets our desired outcome. This approach, although possibly costly, can get you out of a deadlocked situation and get the process going again.


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