Ground rules establish how meetings will be run, how team members are expected to interact, and what behaviors are acceptable & unacceptable. Establishing ground rules is a proven technique to promote acceptable behaviors by minimizing confusion and misunderstandings. Employing ground rules may increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Ground rules aid in cooperation and help bring the team together.
- Team should define ground rules that are acceptable by all and can be used each time they meet
- Ground rules can be reinforced, modified or removed in case of unacceptable/unproductive behavior
- Ground rules, along with any other group agreements, must be made easily available to all group members.
- All project team members share responsibility for enforcing the rules once they are established.
Discussing ground rules in areas such as code of conduct, communication, working together or meeting etiquette allows team members to discover values that are important to one another and thereby increasing team bonding. It also reduces conflicts between team members by protecting individual's interest and allowing everyone to express in the meeting without being dominated by an individual.
- Prepare a clear Agenda
- Each team member may work individually or with a partner
- Each team member may take few minutes to think & share best practices from past projects, behaviors, and actions that helped them perform
- Team shares best practices with the larger audience
- Team creates ground rules leveraging these best practices
Ground rules allow meaningful dialogue to proceed with the aim of producing effective project results. Ground rules must be agreed upon, and signed-off, by everyone. Ground rules are not guaranteed to be effective. From time-to-time, we need to ask “Are there any other ground rules that the project team would like to add?”.
- Ground Rules for Winners: 12 Keys to Managing Team Players, Tough Bosses, Setbacks, and Success. Joe Torre, Henry Dreher. Hyperion publishing, 1999.
- Ground Rules in Humanitarian Design. Alice Min Soo Chun, Irene E. Brisson. Wiley publishing, 2015.
- Warren Buffett's Ground Rules. Jeremy Miller. Profile Books Ltd, 2016.