Group Agreements

Group agreements help a group function more smoothly. The following agreements are ones that have been used successfully, but each group should modify and adopt group agreements at their first meeting using the consensus process. The toolkit at the bottom lists various useful techniques for meetings, but each group should adopt the ones that they feel are most beneficial.

Date Approved: add approval date here.

  1. Decision making: For a decision to be made a consensus must be reached. This means that each person must agree to the decision or be willing to abide by the decision without sabotaging the decision. See the Consensus Process.
  2. Revisiting of an issue: Members will limit revisiting an issue once consensus is reached. An issue can be re-raised when there is consensus that subsequent events or discussions warrant re-examination of the issue.
  3. Confidentiality: All information/issues discussed by the committee are public and can be discussed outside of the group, unless a group member requests confidentiality. Discussion of personalities is off-limits.
  4. Directness and Openness: It is OK for members to say that the behavior of an individual is helpful or not helpful. It is never fair to talk about people; it is only fair to talk about ideas. Ideas belong to the group.
  5. Survey: It is OK for any group member to initiate a survey. Members can pass when a survey is taken.
  6. Ownership and Commitment to group decisions and actions: Once an agreement is made all members own that decision. Each person is responsible for how the group behaves.
  7. Attendance: Each member is expected to attend all committee meetings, however other commitments may take precedence.
  8. Assessment techniques: It is OK at any time for anyone to bring to the attention of the group how it is interacting and to make suggestions on how it might instead proceed. Members should remind each other to stay on track.
  9. Ending a meeting: Each session may be debriefed at the end of the meeting. Each meeting will end with a summary of the action items and responsibilities.


  • Time Auction ("Can I have 5 more minutes? How about 10?")
  • 5-4-3-2-1 Survey
  • Brainstorming
  • Preview the Meeting at the beginning
  • Think/Pair/Share
  • Weighted Voting
  • Air Time (the amount of time people get to talk)
  • Agenda making: set times in minutes, not in clock times
  • Public Minutes
  • Decorate the Room
  • "Walk in Someone else's shoes"
  • Ask the author for permission to change his/her wording for the public minutes
  • "Room zones"
  • Involve many different people in the meeting
  • Use at least two people presenting, so that one can think while the other is speaking.
  • Ask open ended questions and pause to give everyone time to think

Adapted from the work of Bill Kentta and the ASIJ Process and Communication Team (PACT, 1997)


Created 3/2/2002

Last maintained 08/23/2003


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Original Content ©2001-2008 by Derrel Fincher, Other rights reserved by individual authors

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