Earlier this year, I attended a meeting with nearly 100 people to discuss the future direction of a religious institution where I am a member. It was expected that attendees would have varying, and possibly contentious, opinions. The meeting’s facilitator began by spelling out some valuable ground rules for everyone to keep in mind. Those rules are worth sharing here because they can be put to good use in many situations.

  • We are all same. If you are unhappy with someone, remember: they, too, mean well.
  • Reflect in silence while others are speaking.
  • Speak the truth as we see it, but do so carefully, lest we hurt others.
  • Maintain patient empathy with others.
  • If something does get out of hand, respectfully ask for forgiveness; you have a right to retract something you wish you hadn’t said.
  • Progress comes through collaboration. Sit on the same side of the table. (We may have different views but we are all working to the same goal.)
  • Exhibit human decency toward others.

This kind of behavior is one of the marks of personal leadership. Can you think of ways you can apply these guidelines to make for happier and more productive experiences in different areas of your life? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,