7 Rules for Healthy Staff Meetings

These guidelines for conversational ethics will help your meetings go smoothly.

Leaders can’t lead without meeting with others. Sometimes meetings go well. Sometimes they don’t. Often team dynamics derail productive meetings simply because someone misspoke or misheard. As I began to realize this, several years ago I asked a psychologist to help me create some rules for talking in our staff meetings. I call them conversational ethics. Here are the seven rules.


1. Listen: Let others say their piece; as Covey said, “Seek to understand before being understood.”

2. Suspend judgment: Don’t make assumptions about what others say.

3. Share in the thought pool: Everybody gives input; participate truthfully (how you really feel).

4. Stay detached from your ideas: Don’t take things personally; use “I” messages; own your personal view.

5. Let others be inarticulate: Help others articulate what they are trying to say by engaging.

6. Privacy: If personal issues with you and another person potentially could affect a discussion and/or a decision, first deal with it 1-on-1 in private with the individual.

7. Accountability: Everybody helps hold each other accountable to this set of ethics.

What guidelines have helped you lead good meetings?

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This article originally appeared on CharlesStone.com and is reposted here by permission.

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