Group Norms


Group Norms



Anyone group aiming to do work together, whether that is learning or building, will benefit from establishing norms and shared values.



5-7 minutes



  1. On a whiteboard, write down the words "Meaningful" and "Pleasant"
  2. Ask everyone in the group to shout out what will make this course (or meeting) meaningful and pleasant. Alternatively, ask them to write their ideas on sticky notes.
  3. Record each participant's suggestion in the form of a mind map (branching out from those two initial words).
  4. For each suggestion, ensure that all participants have the same understanding of the idea. If not, change the suggestion until it has consensus from all participants.
  5. Go through each suggested item and ask participants how they would ensure that the idea is carried out during the workshop. Record these on the whiteboard in sticky notes.
    1. Example: “We will not negate someone else’s ideas. Instead of saying “Yes, but…” we will say “Yes, and…”.
  6. All ideas mutually agreed on as being "pleasant" and "meaningful" make up the Code of Conduct for the group. The group has the responsibility to uphold this code through the remainder of the course or working relationship.



  • This sort of exercise is especially helpful, if you will be discussing sensitive topics or topics that you know might be triggering, or have a miriad of opinions and stances. A code of conduct, helps to establish an understanding of how the participants will work together.

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