Reflect on your last team meeting, and ask yourself these two important questions:
1. What overarching guidelines were established that set the tone and climate for productive communication and team work?
2. How did we build and maintain a positive community environment that facilitated learning and encouraged candor?
When individuals and teams come together to learn, discuss, debate, and/or decide issues and initiatives, it is important to have an established, agreed upon, and visible Operational Guide – one that reflects how we behave as a team and learning community.
Consider including the following items on your Operational Guide:
Appreciate, value and respect differences
Everyone participates, yet no one dominates
Be on time, stay engaged, and keep on track
Give freely of your experiences
Maintain a positive and appreciative mindset
One speaker at a time; do not interrupt
Be an active and objective listener
This sample Operational Guide is a good starting place, but it is important to ask your team for feedback to create buy-in. What guidelines are acceptable for your team? Should an item be omitted, and/or something added?
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