Group agreements are a list of statements formed by the group that expreexpresses the group needs from others in the group in order to feel safe, supported, and productive together. They help us do our work because we feel our voice matters to others and we want to hear from others. They are more effective than rules and norms:
- Rules come from an authority figure and must be enforced outside the participants.
- Norms are the usual way we act.
- Agreements are aspirational and important to the members because they form them based on what they need from each person in the group.
Sometimes groups must have conversations that are emotional or uncomfortable, and agreements help participants understand how to speak respectfully and feel safe to speak honestly.