Establishing Community Norms

September 11, 2016

 

Community norms are a set of agreements informing member behavior and rooted in community values, beliefs, interests.  Establishing norms creates a reciprocal relationship between the individual and the community, the community and society.  Utilizing norms create opportunities for individuals to impact society.  

 

Developing Community Norms:

  • Identify community values, mission and/or vision

  • Define non-negotiables

  • Articulate goals

  • Prioritize needs

  • Ensure inclusivity

  • Consider role of technology

  • Reach consensus (in the sense that not everyone has to agree completely with all norms but must be able to support and live with all of them)

  • Create safe and judgement free agreements

Suggested Community Norms:

  • Be engaged, limit known distractors

  • Communicate directly, clearly and with respect

  • Use active and reflective listening

  • Speak for yourself

  • Allow time and space for all members of the group to share opinions

  • Lean into brave spaces by allowing yourself to be challenged

  • Recognize contributions, efforts and participation of all

  • Put challenges in the middle of the table for consideration by all

  • Ensure confidentiality of words, images, contributions, discord

  • Utilize conflict resolution skills

  • Allow yourself to fumble with ideas, concepts, behaviors

  • Engage with mistakes as learning opportunities

  • Be comfortable with silence:

    • Ask for a gathered silence

    • Ask for a reflective silence with the conversation gets too heated

    • State that you do not know how to interpret the silence

    • Remind the group that silence can be interpreted for agreement observe silence as a loud means of communication

    • Convey the confusion when silence is the answer to a question

    • Request an empathy based approach to silence in digital communications

  • Ensure an evaluation process and adjust norms as needed

Resources:

Creating Positive Community Norms by the CDC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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