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When and how do you introduce workshops and meetings ground rules
Getting buy-in from the participants
Ground rules are important because they help to establish the right expectations for the participants of a workshop or meeting. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and reduces the risk of the gathering turning unproductive or running out of hand.
Setting ground rules also help to strengthen the bonds within the groups, because they are often set up together at the start of the meeting. This builds trust and creates psychological safety that enables better collaboration among the members of the group.
Ground rules should always be used with a clear purpose, such as
Establishing a safe space
Staying on time
Creating equal participation
Without any relevant and clear purpose, participants will quickly forget about them, or might even feel restricted. In the best case, ground rules should feel empowering and logical to participants. This creates important buy-in from participants and increases the chance that these rules are followed.
People support, what they help to create. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand that ground rules will be the most effective if they’re suggested and agreed on by the group members themselves.
There are 3 ways you can introduce workshops and meetings ground rules and get buy-in from the participants:
Collect ground rules from participants, and prioritize them together with the group
Present a large set of ground rules, and let the group decide which to use
Suggest a small number of ground rules, and ask for the agreement of the group
You should introduce and discuss ground rules as soon as possible.
A good time for it might be right after you open the meeting and explain the purpose and the expected outcome. Doing it right after the purpose and outcome, allows you to highlight the importance of the ground rules, with the content and the frame of the meeting.