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Alternative to Ground Rules

Ground rules or group norms are used to establish an agreed level of behavior that determines how participants interact with each other. While some teams have been working together for some time and have established their own functional and tacit ground rules, we found that most groups benefit from a conscious process of identifying inbound and outbound behaviors. Overtime can help a group`s ground rules correct itself. They will begin to correct themselves on the basis of the standards they have established and strengthened. If they are memorable, people should find them quite easy to implement and follow during meetings. This ensures that important standards are met. Plus, fun rules can liven up a meeting and make it more enjoyable for everyone involved. For example, some teams point out when a team member is not part of the topic by directly saying “This is not the topic” or using an agreed word like “jellyfish.” But all these variations in the basic rules are based on the assumption that the person who correctly calls the jellyfish determines that the other person does not belong to the subject. Research shows that calling a team member can have unintended consequences if the person calling them is wrong: the other person will continue to address the issue or close it off for the rest of the meeting. Your team may make an inferior decision because that person`s messages were not heard or because the person is not obligated to implement the decision.

Smart facilitators start each session or meeting by proposing a set of basic rules and carefully explaining each of them. They then ask participants for additions because they know the group. They then formally engage the group in a process of adopting the ground rules (as amended). This three-step process has several advantages. If you want your team to be effective, you need to follow the ground rules – and you need to agree on how to use them. Many teams that have ground rules don`t use them regularly. But having rules that you consistently enforce can greatly improve the way your team solves problems and makes decisions. A more productive way to deal with this situation is to have a rule of thumb for testing hypotheses and conclusions. You can say, “Bob, I don`t see how your comment about supplier discounts relates to when we should launch the new product. Can you help me understand the link or, if it is not related, can we determine if and when we should address your topic? “If you say that, you can quickly test your conclusion that Bob`s comment is not related. We probably know all the typical rules that apply: how many times have you heard this at the beginning of meetings? I hope that often! When starting a moderated session or meeting, it is crucial to establish and adopt ground rules.

Ground rules are used to train and customize meeting behavior. The most effective and dramatic use of a rule of thumb during a meeting is when someone says: Use ground rules to establish an agreed baseline for interaction to help a group correct themselves and solve a problem with the table. To increase the approval of the ground rules, you must start the list. but let them finish it. Once you have a plan to complete and publish your new ground rules, you`re done! Whatever the reason, if you set a clear expectation about the type of behavior the group wants in meetings, you can talk openly about that behavior in the group. In other words, when you start talking about what you want, it becomes easier for everyone to talk about what they want. If you`re not comfortable with suggesting some ground rules to your team, please consider how obvious this last sentence is. Here are some fun ground rules that can help you improve the overall productivity of your meetings. Then, if you have ground rules, if someone violates those expectations and you don`t do anything about it – well, I`ve heard: you get what you tolerate. The basic rules give you a tool to use if someone goes too long. This means that the burden and power of having the conversation doesn`t just rest on the meeting leader – the ground rules give everyone on the team a tool to use! It is very common for workshop moderators to establish ground rules at the beginning of the workshop. What is less common, but has a greater positive impact over time, is establishing ground rules at the team, department, or organizational level.

“Sorry, but we accepted xyz in our ground rules, so I think we … But even if your team already has an effective set of ground rules, your team won`t become more effective if you don`t agree on how you`re going to use them. Here`s how it works: Ground rules are powerful tools for improving the team process. With a strong set of behaviors and explicit agreement on what they mean and how they are used, your team will get better results. The ground rules describe the code of conduct for a meeting and the team and explain the expected behavior of all participants. The basic rules of the team must be created and agreed upon by all team members, as groups are more likely to accept and adhere to the rules they have set for themselves. Do you have any ground rules that work particularly well for your team? Have you had experience with any ground rules that might benefit others? There are different types of ground rules. Some are procedural, such as “start on time and end on time” and “put smartphones in vibration”. Procedural ground rules are useful, but they won`t help your team create productive behavior that goes beyond, for example, everyone being on time and vibrating their smartphone. Teams typically develop ground rules during team building or as part of a meeting improvement initiative. Existing teams looking to improve their meetings can also create ground rules together in a short, focused meeting.

Well, in the past, the way I`ve been taught to do it, the way most people still approach this issue, is that we start with ground rules. We`re going to ask the group or say, “Hey, we`re going to think about how we want to be together today,” and what kind of list do you think we`re going to make? Let`s see if any of them sound familiar enough to you. The rules of conduct are more useful. They describe the specific steps that team members should take to act effectively. Examples of a code of conduct include: “Make statements and ask real questions” and “Explain your reasoning and intent.” Other basic rules are abstract, such as “treat everyone with respect” and “be constructive.” These rules focus on a desirable outcome, but do not identify specific behaviors that are respectful or constructive. As a result, abstract rules create problems when group members have different ideas about how to act with respect. For some group members, acting with respect means not expressing concerns about individual group members; For other members, it may mean the opposite. The ground rules give everyone a chance to manage Fred – including Fred! By working with your team to create the expectation that everyone in meetings will keep their comments short and relevant, you can all stick to each other. Some people are annoyed by the idea of establishing “ground rules” because it seems too restrictive and punitive. If the idea of working with your team to set “rules” is rubbing you in the wrong direction, consider these alternatives: Back to here.

In this way, I actually facilitate each of these questions that I just asked. At this point, there are really solid ideas and dialogues. People get involved. Some of what comes out at this point looks and resembles some of the basic rules, but what`s different is that it`s less about things like “showing respect” because everyone knows they`re already supposed to show respect.