Charter Ground Rules

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Learning Team Worksheet: Ground Rules (Due Week Three)
Ground Rules, sometimes referred to in business settings as a "Memorandum-of-Understanding," are useful tools for work or learning teams to identify structures, processes, and strategies to meet team or organizational objectives. Essentially, good ground rules give visibility and voice to those agreements between team members that reduce the potential for non-resolvable conflict(s) which often result in incomplete tasks, broken relationships between team members, and non-productive activity within the team. Specifically included in a list of ground rules are such items as: •meeting schedules

•expectations for attendance
•agenda items
•completion of deliverables schedule
•assigned tasks
•communication methods
Good ground rules also retain a certain fluidity in that they may be modified as long as all group members agree on the changes as they evolve. Language in ground rules should demonstrate a positive, encouraging tone and quality in that the use of negative terminology and toxic language is discouraged and reframed in a more positive manner. For example, when crafting Ground Rules, instead of stating, "Do not interrupt," team members might state, "We agree to refrain from interrupting one another." Ground rules should be specific and behaviorally anchored. For example, "Our learning team agrees to meet each Wednesday by teleconference from 8-10 p.m. Central time, on August 7, 14, 21, and 28." Using positive, non-toxic language, please answer each of the following questions in typed responses of 25-50 words in length. Be certain to address all subtopics for each question. 1.What are the ways the team members will meet (in person, virtually, online, net meetings, teleconferencing)? Our team will meet in a variety of ways depending on the task that is at hand. Some tasks are easily completed through a variety of electronic means; while others require a formal gathering.

2.What are the days and times for meetings? What exceptions need to be considered? Considering the variety of work schedules that each of the team members have to work around; meeting on Sundays seem to be less intrusive. However, this does not rule out meeting at other times if schedule require changing the set meeting date.

3.What are the team members' expectations pertaining to those team members who refrain from attending or participating in team meetings, or neglect their responsibilities? How will that information be communicated in a positive manner? How will all members be accountable when it comes to "signing" the Learning Team Log, indicating that they participated in the Leaning Team Meeting and activities? All team members are expected to participate according to the level of their skills. Any team member that cannot follow the guidelines will not have their names added to the assignment. Since the majority of the team meetings will occur electronically, each team member will need to make sure their name is included on the team log prior to turning it in on the assigned class day.

4.What are the team's expectations pertaining to individual members arriving at team meetings (in any modality) late or leaving early? If the task that has been assigned to a team member is completed the team members are not required to stay throughout the entire meeting. The reward for finishing a task in a timely manner is an early dismissal.

5.What are the guidelines about each team member's roles and the responsibilities to all other team members so that one team member doesn't "hold all the cards" particularly when team deliverables are due? What is the back-up plan? If the team falls behind due to the failure of a tem member's lack of participation, then a request will be made for someone to volunteer to complete the task. If no team member volunteers in a timely manner then the facilitator of the project has the right to...
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