GroundRules for Teamwork LO2822 -Summary

Jean-Marie Bonthous (
Thu, 14 Sep 1995 19:55:17 -0700

Replying to LO2792 --

Dear fellow netters

I am enclosing the summary of replies received to my recent question :
"Can someone recommend a list of frequently adopted groundrules for
Thank you for your collaboration
Jean-Marie Bonthous

From: Lee Cowherd <>
Subject: Re: Groundrules/meetings
To: Multiple recipients of list TRDEV-L <TRDEV-L@PSUVM.PSU.EDU>

Here's one that someone recently faxed to our organization - I don't know
the source:

Be willing to articulate the weakest part of your position.
Be willing to acknowledge strongest aspect of other's
If you do not understand what someone is saying or what they are could have
several meanings, ask them to clarify.
Silence implies agreement; honestly express your thoughts.
Do not dominate.
Focus on issues and key facts, not persons.
Hear with respect what others say.
Recognize the tension between your interests vs. unit vs. interests of agency.
Dialogue: freely express what you mean; suspend assumptions; see others as
colleagues; no defensiveness.
Discuss nondiscussable issues.
Share all relevant information.
Test each others leaps of abstration, inferences.
Balance inquiry and advocacy.
Do we have a shared understanding of the problem?
Seek best decision, not a watered down on everyone can live with.
Be committed to the truth.
Test for our progress: Can you make the best case for the solution you least
Can you identify the most negative aspects of the solution you most prefer?
hope this helps

Duane, What I have done to set the ground rules for our workshops is
to design a NAME TENT with the ground rules printed on the back so
the participants have them in front of them at all times.
Lynne Benjamin
#303, 1235-17 Ave. S. W.
Calgary, Ab. Canada T2T 0C2
phone: 403-240-2015
fax: 403-249-2541

Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 10:10:06 EST
To: Jean-Marie Bonthous <>
Subject: Re: Groundrules/meetings

In response to your question, I have some examples of g.rules that teams
have defined that may be helpful. One other note, I think it's impt for
the teams to set their own rules, with guidance from the facilitator. I
think they buy in more that way ...

Be considerate to others' needs
Be proactive
Speak up and participate fully
Ability to initiate and accept change
Unity through fun and cooperation (don't ask...)
Respect individual's needs and ideas
Focus on details
On time
Continuously strive toward excellence

How do you participate and make decisions?
-Participate fully
-We listen to and explore all ideas
-Full cooperation
-Keep an open mind
-Devide by consensus
-Reflect and think
-Discuss the undiscusables

How do you treat each other/How do you act when you're thinking of ideas?
-Ackowledge other's point of view
-Interruptions (when they're tolerated, etc.)
-Operate with trust and loyalty
-Trust feelings and intuition

What kind of environment do you want to foster?
-Friendly environment
-Have fun
-Our attitude is energetic

How do you want to operate at meetings?

Hopefully this helps. It's been used in teams, not a workshop per se, so
some would obviously need to be tailored.
Good luck Gisele

Zenger-Miller lists the following groundrules on the back of participant
1. Be prompt and regular in attendance
2. Enter into the discussion enthusiastically
3. Give freely of your experience
4. Allow and encourage others to contribute
5. Listen attentively and take accurate notes
6. Ask questions when you don't understand
7. Appreciate the other person's point of view
8. Provide constructive feedback and receive it willingly
9. Keep confidences and assume others will
10. Confine your discussion to the topic
11. Practice learned skills on the job
[[ MYSIG.TXT : 2379 in MYSIG.TXT ]]

Anne B. Robey, Assistant Manager The Washington Post
OD & Training 1150 15th St NW Washington, DC 20071

Check Larry N. Davis' book "Workshops."
Duane C. Tway, Ph.D.
7022 E. Hacienda Reposo
Tucson, AZ 85715-4919
Ph 520 721-6642
Fx 520 721-1398

From: (Alan Shefman)
Subject: Re: Groundrules/meetings
Date: 12 Sep 1995 03:13:17 GMT

Great Question about groundrules for workshops. Over the last year I have
developed the following groundrules.

Workshop Ground Rules
Participate as fully and as openly as possible, while honouring the
of others
Respect differences of ideas. Be supportive, not judgemental
Give feedback directly and openly. Give it in a timely fashion,
information that is specific, focusing on the task and process and not on
Participate at your level of comfort
Encourage others to share ideas in small and large group sessions
Information shared during this session about an individual is not to be
shared with others without that person's permission
The feelings of other participants are important
Focus on what you will gain - the strengths you have - rather than
what you
fear you will lose
Everyone brings something - value, talent, skill, resources,
etc., for a more effective, efficient organization.
Alan Shefman, President
The Edge Quality/Communications Consultants
113 Heatherton Way, Suite 201, Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3E7
tel: 905-709-1163 fax: 905-709-1164 email:

From: Nancy Probst <NProbst261@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Groundrules/workshops
To: Multiple recipients of list HRD-L <HRD-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>

I have found it most effective to involve the entire group in the development
of ground rules at the beginning of a workshop session. Groups will usually
come up with very similar ground rules ie. everyone will be allowed to
participate, confidentiality, respecting everyone's ideas, etc. but each
group usually comes up with some unique ones also. I write the ground rules
on a large flip chart and post on the wall so that they can be referred to
throughout the session.

From: (Jeff Petkevicius)
Subject: GroundRules for Teamwork LO2792
Precedence: bulk

I'seen some requests recently for groundrules for meetings. I've been
collecting lists and have compiled the following. In thinking about the
ideas, they are actually good operating affirmations as opposed to
"rules". Let me know what you think and what is missing to make it a super

Teamwork Ground Rules
* We participate as fully and as openly as possible, while honoring the
privacy of others
* We give feedback directly and openly in a timely fashion, and we provide
information that is specific and focuses on the task and process and not on
* We use our time wisely, starting on time, returning from breaks and
ending our meetings promptly.
* We come to our meetings prepared with information and materials that are
required for the meeting.
* When fellow members miss a meeting we share the responsibility for
bringing them up to date.
* We focus on our goals
* We avoid sidetracking, personality conflicts and hidden agendas.
* We acknowledge problems and deal with them.
* Within our group, we have the resources we need to solve any problem
that arises. This means that we all contribute.
* We respect different ideas. We are supportive, not judgmental
* We are each responsible for what we get from this team experience.
* We ask for what we need from our facilitator and the other group members.
* We encourage others to share ideas in small and large group sessions
* The feelings of all participants are important
* We focus on what the team will gain, the strengths we have, rather than
what individuals fear they will lose.
* We respect that everyone brings something of value, talent, skill,
resources, understanding, etc., for a more effective, efficient
* We operate all meetings with an agenda
* Everyone is expected to help facilitate the meeting and keep it on track
* Job titles are left at the door.
* We address the process not the individual
* We communicate effectively. One person talks at a time and all others
listen with the commitment to understand the speaker's message.
* We rotate responsibilities
* All action items are clearly defined, assigned and scheduled to a
specific Owner to complete and report back to the group. No hanging
* We do not accept the first idea, we go for the second and even a third
before making a decision.
* We build each other up and encourage one another.
* We summarize the meeting and get agreement on the action items and Owners
* We set the agenda for the next meeting before breaking up.
* We have fun.
* We are open to new ideas, change and the unknown, that's the definition
of an adventure.
* We show willingness and comfort in making decisions and acting
* We act to benefit the whole company
* We are all involved in cross-functional work
* We show willingness to pitch in and help
* We take problems directly to the right person for decisions and action
* We Coach, support and encourage other employees in making effective
decisions and taking actions
* We seek and share new information
* We create an environment to actively learn from each other
* We are willing to admit failures, We have the courage to review them and
the maturity to learn from them.
* We transfer learning into effective action for our customers

Jeffrey C. Petkevicius
Author: The Unchained Worker -
Principles of Ownership in the Workplace
ISBN: 0964520435
Cybernetix Inc.
Teamwork, Ownership and Empowerment Coaching in the Workplace.
6619 North Cedar Road, Suite #101
Spokane, WA 99208 USA
Voice: (509) 325-2249 (800) 517-4268
FAX: (509) 467-9573