Q:

How do you set ground rules for meetings?

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Quick Answer

Set ground rules for meetings by focusing on a general set of guidelines for participant conduct, outlining the methods through which each member may interact with and address others, and requesting feedback from participants prior to the start of the meeting. The rules should appear on a document accessible to all participants and should include the ability to make amendments or modifications as necessary.

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Full Answer

Meeting ground rules serve as a basic foundation for the behavior and expectations of the participants in order to promote healthy communication and keep the process effective and efficient. Creating the rules should start with a focus on basic actions and behaviors which all members of the meeting should embody. This may include refraining from interrupting anyone who is speaking, avoiding making any negative claims against another person without a solid foundation, or setting a specific time at which each member needs to arrive.

The meeting organizer may also wish to create a set of ground rules specific to the purpose of the gathering, which involves considering the intent and objectives of the meeting. For example, if the meeting is about determining a new process for choosing a new customer service ticketing system, the ground rules may include requiring members to conduct initial research before it begins. The rules should also include processes for suggesting changes at the end of the meeting to keep the contents relevant and effective.

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