Group Agreements

Grade Level: 
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Group Discussions
Group agreements are a useful tool for getting your event (meeting, class, workshop, etc.) off to the right start and keeping it on track. They help a group come to an agreement on how it will work together respectfully and effectively. This, in turn, enables people to interact more co-operatively and maintain respect for each other.

Group agreements are a list of statements formed by the group that expresses what the group needs 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 are 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.

You can find many examples and a printable copy of this sample image in the links and attachments below.