It allows people to work together because they recognize an achievable shared goal. By creating Common Ground decision makers develop greater ability to move forward with support from all sides.
It does not entail giving up ones beliefs or values to appease others. Where there is no agreement, there is no common ground. It seeks to achieve a meeting of the minds where both sides see the value and agree with the principles of decisions and actions. Common Ground is not always achievable, but participants always benefit from the effort of trying to work together.
The exercise of free thought is an integral part of achieving Common Ground. However, effective debate relies on careful research of facts as opposed to the use of emotionally charged arguments that appeal to fears and prejudices. By carefully considering all facts and respecting all participants in the debate Common Ground becomes more achievable.
It demands listening, something that is more easily done when participants are not shouting. It requires making an effort to understand the position of others. It needs integrity to evaluate one’s own position in the light of questioning. To compel one to assess that one’s ideas stand up to critique. It calls for humility to support the best idea to achieve desired goals. It needs willingness to open thought to new ideas that hold up under scrutiny. It requires generosity of thought and feeling.