Groundrules for Discussion and Support Groups
Another possibvle set of rules to compare with the ones printed in the book as Appoenbdix 1. These are from Michigan State University.
- Arrive on time, remain for the entire session, and do not wander in and out of the session. (If the group meets for more than an hour, consider having a short planned break.)
- Unless you’re expecting an emergency call, please turn cell phones off. (Using laptops or other gadgets is also generally not appropriate.)
- This group is for discussion/support, not debate. No one is right; no one is wrong.
- Listen. Hear what the other person is saying. Let them finish talking. Think before you react. Realize that the same word or phrase may mean different things to different people.
- Talk about yourself and your own experience. You may ask questions of others, but do not challenge the validity of another’s personal experience.
- Keep your comments brief and to the point, so everyone has a chance to speak.
- Do not generalize from your experience and feelings to the experience and feelings of others. Let people speak for themselves.
- Do not attack, or try to hurt, or pass judgment on anyone, whether or not they are present.
- Treat this group session as a private conversation, do not repeat elsewhere what is said here.
- Stay on topic. (If the group has a specific focus.)
It’s a good idea to repeat the rules before every session of a group, even if the people present are ‘regulars’.
Perhaps the most difficult rule for most facilitators to enforce is #6. Some people really like to hear themselves talk. Because most groups meet for a relatively short time, it’s essential to enforce that rule or some people will not have a chance to participate.
Facilitating a group is hard work! Good luck!