Ground Rules – 11/21

by Jennifer

Categories: Past Events

The seemingly elevated rancor and discord in our nation these days got me thinking about how we can do better. In a recent conversation with some folk in the church, I mentioned that our staff developed some ground rules years ago to help frame a basic understanding of how we want to communicate, even with difficult issues and concerns over which we might disagree.

Here’s what we came up with:

1.     Use “I” as opposed to “you” statements, expressing your own thoughts and not speaking for others.

2.     Be attentive of body language, in yourself and others.

3.     Listen actively and avoid interrupting.

4.     Extend grace and forgiveness, never assuming the worst.

5.     Value perspectives other than your own.

6.     Be fully present to the conversation, and the people in it.

7.     Remember the Golden Rule.

8.     Avoid complaining about, or talking down, any person with whom you disagree.

9.     Create an environment where people can learn from mistakes and failures.

10.  Hold yourself to high standards, and be honest.

I’ve certainly found these helpful over the years, and we do revisit them from time to time just to keep our team working well and smoothly. Perhaps you can think of a relationship or context in your life where setting up some ground rules might be a good way to go. Feel free to use our work as a starting point!

Grace and peace,

Peter Whitelock