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Tim |

Great article. I am a big fan of adding enough structure to meetings so that they are effective uses of time. I've also created a worksheet to help the leader of the meeting facilitate the process, as well as develop a plan for the meeting. Check it out at

Harold Shinsato

Great post! I first found out about you from Pamela Slim, but this blog I found out about from some friends at

Most of modern democracy was built around parliamentary procedure and Roberts Rules of Order- ground rules - but I like that you have very simple rules that meeting members consent to. It's also what I like about the Core Protocols - ground rules and team commitments need not only be restricted to meetings.

Thanks again for a great blog!

barbara sanchez

This makes good sense. It's based on good manners and participation. And as my mother used to say, good manners are the grease of civilization.

Dan Erwin

Having worked with identical meeting management skills for years, like Kelley, I've found that built-in ground rules put order into chaos and ineffectiveness. Meeting management is often an area of blatant organizational failure, not only in publicly held companies, but also in non-profits, churches, government and schools. The issue is all about profound ignorance of what as far back as the 1970's was called "discussion and conference leadership."

As a faculty member at a medium-sized university, I used to comment that a faculty meeting was a trip to hell, since the dean would never permit me to put ground rules in place. Nice guys, like that dean, would not normally be considered assholes, but their utter failure to build in effectiveness puts them in that category. Such nice guys seem to be gripped by an irresponsible fear of offending people--a fear largely ungrounded and painful to experience. I can't express how many required meetings I left in utter disgust because of such ineffectiveness. One tactic that I occasionally used at the end of a meeting was to get permission to summarize fundamental issues surfaced and decisions made. I was forced by a few to stop the practice because of its embarrassment.

At that time, I lacked the political skills I've since added to my toolkit. As an external consultant today, I've never permitted such failure to happen in my presence, and never gotten anything but accolades for my clarity.

Though it's been 25 years, I sense my hostility still smoking over such failure.


Great post. How much of all our interactions could be improved with a few Ground Rules?

My impression is that the reason Kelley gives away her program for free is that she really believes in what she teaches - treating people in the workplace as Humans. Seems like she is pretty passionate about her message and what it can do for people; giving it away reflects that passion and desire to help people. Who wouldn't love to work in a place that practices what she teaches? I would.


This is really good advice. If companies could pour it into their heads, work come become a fantastic place.

And WOW! Solitaire is being developed into a film? Kelly is ultra-talented. Some would say a king in her field(s).

Thanks for the information.

Pierce Watters

Good stuff. If only any meeting started on time! And no cell phones. Thank you.

Kelley Eskridge

Bob, thank you!

Your blog and the ongoing conversations here are continually great resources for me. If the Ground Rules idea can help one person keep a Cheetah from running amok, I'll feel as though I've been able to give back in a small way to this community where I've learned so much. That's a good feeling.


Thanks, just what I needed for my next meeting!

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