This is a conversation (video recorded with ZOOM) on Ground Rules and Group Contracts (e.g., Full Value Contract) between John Losey and me (Chris Cavert) recorded on Sept. 19th, 2019 (about 54 minutes). I wanted to get this into the OTB resources so it's easily searchable and accessible.
Below you can read some of the thoughts from the conversation. We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Please leave us a Comment.
What are ground rules or contracts? These are agreements on, "how we are going to BE together." In other words, what are the "rules" we're going to follow when we're together?
Many people (e.g., Corporate Adults) come into programs with expectations. Ground Rules and Contracts help us "align" expectations around how they treat each other and how they want to be treated so there is less misunderstanding.
"What makes it fun for you when you're with a group of people?" This might be a way to approach rules or contract development. (Start from what your group may understand - fun, we hope, is understandable to most people.)
Working with adults, John shares, "I want to have them take control over how they want to treat each other..." "If this is going to be the 'perfect' meeting, what's going to happen. What do you [the individuals] need from it, what does the group need from it?" (John leads with this idea through, "Setting goals and ground rules.") "What do we need from each other to best reach these goals?"
With adult learners (research says), if the facilitator (leader) takes too much control, it limits the buy-in from participants. (How does this play out based on the time you have with a group?)
When people feel like they've been heard, they're more likely to respond and interact in positive ways. Including 'people' in rules/contract development, whether group led or facilitator led, increases the likelihood of positive interactions. (A line of thinking: If this, then that...)
You [the educator/facilitator as a 'role'] shouldn't totally eliminate yourself from the process, but it's good to be aware of your positional power, even your authoritarian or experiential power...and not abuse that and steal from the groups learning.
Ground rules and contracts are not just about team building and group process, they are functional tools to get you where you want to go more effectively and efficiently.
We would love to hear your thoughts about Ground Rules and Contracts. Leave us a Comment.
Chris & John
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an educator, author and trainer. His passion is helping team builders learn and grow.