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Manual > 5 - Getting Started > Ground Rules

Sample Ground Rules

The mediator may find it advantageous to assist the participants to establish a few behavioral guidelines for their discussions. Any such "ground rules" should be compassionately enforced as a means of keeping the participants on track. Ground rules may be introduced by saying, for example: "Lots of people find some ground rules helpful for their discussions. These are some that I have developed over time. Would you mind taking a look at these and letting me know if these guidelines would work for you, and of any additional understandings that you would like."

Suggested Ground Rules

  • You will have a full opportunity to speak on each issue presented for discussion - there is no need to rush or interrupt. 

  • You are encouraged to ask genuine "questions of clarification." Please avoid asking "questions of attack."

  • Please use each other's first names, not the pronouns "he" or "she."

  • Speak for yourself only.

  • Appeals and attempts to convince should be made to each other and not to the mediator. 

  • If something is not working for you, speak up.

  • Try to avoid establishing hard positions, expressing yourself instead in terms of your interests, intentions, and the outcomes that you would like to create. 


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