The power of workshop ground rules with a ‘Yes and’ approach

Planning and running a workshop can be rewarding and revealing but it can also be stressful and erratic. Here at Good Eggs to help veer a workshop towards rewarding and effective and away from being erratic  we like to lay down some ground rules. We’ve found the below resource by EBG consulting invaluable. It is a (very!) comprehensive list of some ground rules that you can choose from to help set the scene and your expectations for your attendees at a workshop. We picked these for one of our workshops:

Workshop rules

As you can see we also love and use the ‘Yes and’ approach and ban the word No from workshop’s so everything is Yes and…We find it helps set an optimistic environment, where no one feels belittled or cut off (especially useful within organisations where the hierarchy can be over-bearing).

We’ve found that when we’ve set ground rules and use the ‘Yes and’ approach attendees often listen more attentively, hear other perspectives and approach the tasks and challenges with more openness. We’ve found workshops with this ‘Yes and’ approach have a more conducive environment and take the conversations further, ‘Yes and’ opens up new ideas that might have otherwise been cut off or not even surfaced in the first instance.  Have you tried ‘Yes and’, banned the use of No in a workshop, used ground rules? Give it a go, tell us how it went

There are plenty of great resources about planning a good workshop or how to run a good workshop out there including this from Mind Tools and this from Scott Berkun

This is a great article from Tracey Bridges about ‘Making workshops work for you’

The full list of Workshop ground rules from EBG consulting – thank you for letting us share this

Workshop Ground Rules

This is a good article about how the Yes and approach equals less ego, more openness, more possibility by Scott McDowell



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