Staff Collective Ground Rules for Meetings

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The Free Geek Collective ceased to exist on February 28, 2013. For information on current staff, please go to Staff. For detailed information about the re-organization of Free Geek's management structure, please go to 2013_Restructuring_Documents.

Staff Collective Ground Rules for Meetings: This is an attempt to have more constructive meetings and to alleviate what people may perceive as a toxic or hostile workplace.
List of Policies - Policy Development

These ground rules were adopted at an all-day Staff Collective Meeting on Nov 1, 2010. (link to minutes forthcoming)

These ground rules apply to staff collective meetings, but could be used for other meetings as well.

Ground rules for Staff Collective Meetings:

These ground rules apply to staff collective meetings. It is the role of the facilitator to enforce these ground rules. If the facilitator is not doing this, someone else may suggest.

The following behaviors are usually counterproductive to having a reasonable meeting and should be avoided:

  • eye rolling
  • laughing at serious points or concerns
  • hair pulling
  • making things unnecessarily personal
  • interrupting (guidelines for when interrupting is acceptable are below)
    • to correct a fallacy
    • to ask clarifying questions
  • monopolizing speaking time
  • raising voices to a yell or near-yell
  • hyperbole
  • assuming bad intent
  • attacking or insulting
  • talking about "ghosts"


This section is only intended to clarify the above ground rules, and is not part of the official decision made.

In making a point, try to stick to the actual facts. Try not to inflate an opponent's argument into a mis-characterization of their point of view. In other words "Back it up, or back it off."
Often points will be introduced with a phrase like "people say...". When doing this, be certain to have concrete people and events in mind. Avoid expressing your own opinions as if they were the opinions of other unnamed people.
good facilitation
A good facilitator should identify when the above (or similar) behaviors are negatively affecting a meeting and point out the problem. In some cases the facilitator will not notice the behaviors and others present at the meeting will need to raise the issue.