Last week’s Wellness Wednesday introduced the importance of Ground Rules: guidelines that participants agree to follow in order to make human interaction more productive and enjoyable. Having Ground Rules establishes expectations that result in effective human encounters.

In addition to “Be present, or be elsewhere” shared in last week’s WW, Daniel Wirtz, founder of Facilitator School, has identified other useful Ground Rules for productive interaction.

Explore Interests, Not Positions: Reaching agreement can be difficult because we can get locked into our positions. However, we might be better able to find common ground and avoid conflicts if we explored the interests behind those positions.

A & A Rule: When brainstorming, judging ideas can be detrimental. Instead of judging ideas, this Ground Rule gets us to focus on Adding to ideas or providing Alternatives.

E.L.M.O = “Enough, Let’s Move On”: The E.L.M.O. Rule can help us maintain focus, stay on time and cut unnecessary discussions. Anyone in the meeting can say “ELMO!” to indicate that it is time to move on to the next topic.

Vegas Rule: Stemming from the original saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” this rule means that everything that is said in the meeting stays in the meeting. This can be especially helpful when we want to establish a safe space so people can speak freely.

Previous Wellness Wednesdays have identified Four Cornerstone Rules that we practice on our Top 20 teams:

  • Help others succeed
  • Communicate ‘You matter’
  • Honor the absent
  • See the problem, own the problem

Although we don’t practice these rules perfectly, being intentionally focused on them has been immensely beneficial.

Reflection: What Ground Rules do you think would make your group encounters more effective?

Time for Action: Discuss with your family, colleagues, or team the Ground Rules they think would be beneficial.

From our Top 20 team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training