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Meeting Ground Rules

Page history last edited by Dale Stenseth 12 years, 10 months ago

Proposed Set of Ground Rules (Code of Conduct) for Minnesota Futurists


( a starting point - neither all-inclusive nor exclusive Feel Free To Offer Suggestions to this list)

  • Attitudes:
  • We will be as open as possible but will honor the right of privacy.
  • Information discussed in our group will remain confidential. With regards to peoples' opinions, what's said here stays here.
  • We will respect differences. We won't discount others' ideas.
  • We will be supportive rather than judgmental.
  • We will give feedback directly and openly; it will be given in a timely fashion, and we will provide information that is specific and focuses on the task and process and not on personalities.
  • Within our group, we have the resources we need to solve any problem that arises. This means that we will all be contributors.
  • We are each responsible for what we get from this meeting's  experience.
  • Practice self-respect and mutual respect.
  • Build self-esteem. Respect each person.
  • No finger pointing -- address the process not the individual.
  • Criticize only ideas, not people.
  • Everyone is expected to help facilitate, critique, and evaluate the meeting.
  • Everyone is expected participate and to respect and support the right to be heard.
  • Be willing to forgive.
  • Share air time, work from you own "learning edge" and acknowledge that others are at different places
  • Expect to change your own mind, but don't expect to change another's mind.
  • Watch for "trigger words -- language IS important.
  • If need be, agree to disagree.
  • Be open to new concepts and to concepts presented in new ways. Keep an open mind. Appreciate other points of view.
  • Do not accept the first idea -- go for the second and even better the third.
  • Everyone is responsible for the success of the meeting.
  • Be an "Adventurer" not a "Prisoner".
  • Be a team player. Respect each other's ideas. Question and participate.
  • Relax. Be yourself. Be honest.
  • Be willing to make mistakes or have a different opinion.
  • Keep confidences and assume others will as well.
  • Accept personal responsibility for meeting outcomes.
  • Share your knowledge, experience, time, and talents.
  • Process:
  • Have fun! Yes, you may be having a very serious discussion but life is too short to get hung up on it. Ideally everyone should leave the meeting feeling better for it and that their involvement was critical to its success.
  • We will use our time wisely, starting on time, returning from breaks and ending our meetings promptly.
  • Publish agenda and outcomes.
  • Review and agree on agenda at start of meeting and then stick to it. But ...
  • Do not be fanatical about it; e.g., go with the flow - if things are progressing and the ideas are flowing that are relevant, keep it rolling.
  • We will ask for what we need from our facilitator and other group members.
  • Attend all meetings. Be on time.
  • Absenteeism permitted if scheduled in advance with the leader.
  • When members miss a meeting we will share the responsibility for bringing them up to date.
  • 100% focus and attention while meeting.
  • We will keep our focus on our goals, avoiding sidetracking, personality conflicts and hidden agendas. We will acknowledge problems and deal with them.
  • Keep to the current topic. (Avoid side bar discussions while others are talking.)
  • Stay focused on the task and the person of the moment.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate - before, during and after the meeting - to make sure that action items are properly documented, resolved, and assigned to a responsible individual and given a due date.
  • Phones or pagers on "stun" (vibrate, instead of ring or beep) during the meetings. Unless on standby for recall, turn them off. We will not make phone calls or interrupt the group unless we are called out by a true emergency.
  • No one should feel silenced and if you do, take it up with the facilitator.
  • One person talks at a time.
  • Include everyone in the discussion. Share the limelight.
  • Participate enthusiastically.
  • Don't interrupt someone talking.
  • No "killer" statements; don't shoot down ideas. Be open.
  • Differences or conflicts -- handle them openly and positively.
  • Practice both active and reflective listening. Before making your point, confirm to the group that you have understood the views of others by restating their point in your own words and seeking agreement that you truly understand the prior points.
  • Frequently check for understanding -- summarize and paraphrase frequently to ensure that what is being said is being heard and understood. Work towards explaining consensus.
  • Where possible, and unless agreed to at the beginning, save questions for the end of the talk.
  • Request an example if a point is not clear.
  • Ensure every new participant participates at least once.
  • Allow the recorder to participate in the conversation but make sure that the material being discussed is still captured.
  • Say "Thank you".
  • About 5 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the meeting, take a quick consensus:-
  • Are we where we want to be or are we still on a roll?
  • (If all can't stay, you should break it up. Do not send the signal that one member's contribution is more important than another's -- even if the departing member says "Carry on," close the meeting.)
  • Group Critique - Openly at the conclusion of the meeting and as needed during it.
  • Take a census at the conclusion of the meeting:-
  • Did we cover what we wanted to cover?
  • Are there things you liked or did not like?
  • How can we do them differently next time?
  • If the purpose of the meeting is to reach a decision, make sure the decision maker is actually at the meeting and that the required people who need to provide inputs are either present or adequately represented.
  • Job titles and rank are left at the door.
  • Commitment is demonstrated when members understand and accept responsibilities, and tasks are achieved.
  • Provide key point notes to participants.

(If you cannot follow these rules, you may want to find some other organization.)


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