Communication Guidelines

It is important to have communication parameters that will allow for an honest and respectful environment that encourages the sharing of differing perspectives and opinions. We recommend the following guidelines for communication during meetings:

  • Acknowledge that there are multiple truths in the room.
  • Try to listen for understanding, not in order to debate.
  • Ask clarifying questions if something is not clear.
  • Agree to disagree, but not to disengage.
  • Maintain confidentiality- discuss and share broader themes when appropriate, but do not discuss specific stories or attributes to specific individuals.
  • When in doubt about what can be shared:
    • Allow everyone to speak for themselves, not on behalf of an entire group
    • Acknowledge that communication differences may be cultural ( or may not be) so your discomfort with a communication style is not an excuse to disengage
    • Challenge yourself-step out of your comfort zone
    • Address conflict directly if it arises – see it as a learning opportunity
    • Recognize natural or imposed power dynamics and imbalances
    • Acknowledge if you may have said something that was hurtful or insensitive to someone else
  • Please limit side conversations and time on electronic devices
  • Please speak up if a guideline is not being honored.