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.