Examples of Ground Rules. Tips for Facilitators

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Examples of Ground Rules. Tips for Facilitators
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
What are Ground Rules?
When you're going to participate in some form of group activity, it's a good idea to agree beforehand upon some rules all participants must follow. Such agreements are called: Ground Rules (GR).
GR are the standards of conduct for meetings, brainstorming sessions, trainings, workshops, mediation, arbitration and other forms of consensus building.
They may cover the behavior of the participants, the role and behavior of the facilitator, the methods and process to be used, and the substance of the discussions.

Ground Rules Synonyms
GR are also being called: discussion guidelines, community norms, participation agreements, a protocol, or rules of engagement.

Why are Ground Rules Important?
GR help improve the efficiency of the entire proc...Sign up

Facilitation as a Performing Art: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
Facilitation is a performance art. Establishing clear boundaries and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) helps ensure that brain storming enriches th...Sign up

On Ground Rule #12 for Consensus
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
For years I have used a ground rule to help a group avoid bogging down (Editor: ~getting stuck) trying to achieve consensus. It's written and posted o...Sign up

On Ground Rule #8: No Monopolizing: Don't Allow Self Interested Groups to Sit Together
Ivan Kohlinsky, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
One practical point to avoid 'monopolising' by a group and 'hijacking of the discussion' is to assure that members from a similar area/function who ma...Sign up

On Facilitation Ground Rule #9: Challenging Respectfully
Charles Tombazian, Management Consultant, United States, Member
I borrowed one from a Peter Senge Principal. "Productive Dialogue is a balance of inquiry and advocacy." This let's participants know that the ...Sign up

On Facilitation Ground Rule #7: Get Involved
nuria bages, Management Consultant, Spain, Member
A variant of the ground rule you have mentioned is: "get involved". I explain participants the importance of feeling that the training activities, rol...Sign up

Better Name for Facilitation Ground Rules
Yvette Elcock
- Some great ideas here! I especially like Gary's I understand and agree as a way to move forward.
- I try to avoid calling them GR for any of th...Sign up

Another Ground Rule: Observe Time Limits
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
There is another ground rule that we should apply: Set and maintain time limits. This suggestion is based on the limited ability of the human b...Sign up

How Ground Rules Can Hurt
Garth Nowland-Foreman
Paul Gorsky, otherwise a strong supporter of GR argues: "If a goal of conversations about equity and social justice is to challenge current structures...Sign up

The Ground Rules Crest
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
GR equip any group activity to move ahead without jitters or ill-will, operating in a domain providing space and empathy to the participants. In gener...Sign up

Ways of Maintaining the Ground Rules
Kees van der Zanden, Consultant, Member
Dear Jaap and commentors, in my experience, the most exiting thing comes after having set the GR: maintaining or upholding them.
How should you r...Sign up

Potential Extra Ground Rule - Be Accountable
Maggie Golding, HR Consultant, United States, Member
@Kees van der Zanden:One of our standard ground rules is: "Be accountable to self & others Acknowledge and addres...Sign up

Additional Ground Rules: End of Course and: Breaks
antonio esquivias villalobos, Teacher, Spain, Member
I add to the rules : END OF THE COURSE, to have completed the work that was undertaken and not to leave it half finished, because then it is easy to m...Sign up

Additional Ground Rule: Have Fun
M Banville, HR Consultant, Canada, Member
I always suggest the group to add a last one to the list: Have Fun!
I tell them "We are going to spend x hours together, let's make these hours p...Sign up

Thumbs: Up, Down or Sideways
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
@Gary Wong: Adding to your remarks on achieving consensus, a technique I have used is the informal thumbs up, down ...Sign up

On Ground Rule #8: No Monopolizing
Gwande, Project Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
I totally agree. Participants should sacrifice personal interests for group interests. Some form of democracy!...Sign up

Additional Ground Rule: Appoint a Timekeeper
Mrs. Josephine Idele, Partner, Nigeria, Member
In meetings there is often a tendency by certain participants when giving a presentation or presenting their point of view to spent so much time doing...Sign up

Allowing Ground Rules to Rule
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
As Controller of Examinations, at a leading private sector university in Pakistan, I was just wondering what my department does right that we are wel...Sign up

It's Like Getting to Carnagie Hall...
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
@Arif ur Rehman: ... Practice. Practice. Practice. You and your department are engaged in a process that you trust ...Sign up

Keep Minimum Number of Ground Rules
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
What we expect from group members can be described by two lists.
1. Ground Rules (GR): Essential for all to follow or else to accept punis...Sign up

On Rule #9: Consider Using the 'But Out' Rule
Steven Keleman, Ed.D., Management Consultant, United States, Member
The word "but" is often used to disagree with the phrase that came before. The ground rule might be: "Avoid saying: '...but...'."
Instead,...Sign up

The 'This AND That'-rule
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States, Premium Member
@Steven Keleman, Ed.D: As you observed, Ram Dass said that "Everything before the 'but' is bullshit."
If you ...Sign up

A Variant of Ground Rule #10: One House
Yemi Smith, Management Consultant, Nigeria, Member
The article and comments are quiet enlightening. My addition to the GR's is: One House - No side comments.
People often get excited or agitated o...Sign up

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Jeremy Lu

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