What Is The Purpose Of Group Agreements

A group agreement brings all members to a level playing field. They know what is acceptable and what is beyond borders. From fundamental but important points such as the beginning and end of the meeting, the group knows what to rely on. When members have to go back to work or put their children to bed on a school night, they know when it is okay to leave. Most importantly, the group agreement ensures things like confidentiality. What is said in the group remains in the group. Broken confidences and gossip are group murderers. If the group is partying, what will they drink or not drink? If your group doesn`t know if any of their members are recovering, this is an important conversation. Trust the group to cover most of the things they need to work well together. Towards the end of the segment, if you feel that important chords are missing, suggest only one or two of your own additions. Check if the group wants to customize your suggestions – or not. If a member has to miss the group, what is their responsibility to the group? Should he call or not worry about it? If it is important for the member to inform the group, enter it into your agreement. It is very easy to make a list of group agreements and treat them more like group rules.

The key to effective agreements is the effective recognition of young people. This indicates the importance of talking to the group about any agreement; specifically. instead of saying, “Okay, so we agree that respect is one of our agreements, right?” And then just get the subtle sign and move on to the next agreement, having a dialogue with the group about what respect means for each individual. This will help make everyone in the room`s voice heard and help you, the facilitator, work with young people who may have definitions of respect that don`t fit the normative culture you`re trying to create (an article about working with definitions of respect will be coming out soon!). You could easily have a discussion about the definition of respect or turn it into a writing assignment for the teens in your class. Other ways to create group agreements may be better suited for shorter meetings or workshops, or for groups that don`t deal with emotional or controversial topics. These include: Once you`ve used questions to craft different ideas from the group members, go through the list one by one and keep discussing for better understanding and further clarification. Discuss how these ideas can be used for the workshop.

Therefore, I would like to give four simple tips for developing group agreements at the first meeting. This is not an exhaustive list, but a guide that will allow you to start developing your normative and trusted group environment. Keep the agreement for future meetings or workshops with the same group, but check each time to make sure everyone is still happy with it…