Setting the tone for a meeting can make it productive and fruitful or contentious and stressful. In order to alleviate tension, we encourage the use of community agreements.

At studio BE, when we meet in a class or discussion group, we want to ensure participants feel secure and at ease; always intending to create a supportive community.

In order to keep communication open, honest, clear, and respectful, we have co-created Community Agreements. These are our commitment to collaborating with integrity, to celebrating our individuality, and flourishing from the wisdom that lives in our interconnection.

When setting out to create these agreements, we asked:

What do we, as a community, feel is necessary to function ideally in community meetings and in classes and workshops we offer?

We shared ideas and engaged in rigorous discussion to ensure that each agreement was clearly understood and that it was viable.  We pinpointed the precise language to capture its truth.  And, at the beginning of gatherings, we review the Agreements to remind people of our commitment.

studio BE Community Agreements

Keep an open mind, be willing to “try on” new ideas, or ways of doing things that might not be what you prefer or are familiar with.

Attend to and speak about your own experiences and responses. Do not speak for a whole group or express assumptions about the experience of others. “I” statements.

Try to understand and acknowledge impact. Denying the impact of something said by focusing on intent is often more destructive than the initial interaction. Good intentions are not enough. Listen and learn from the impact.

Encourage full participation by all present. Take note of who is speaking and who is not. If you tend to speak often, consider “moving back” and vice versa.

Try to avoid planning what you’ll say as you listen to others. Be willing to be surprised, to learn something new. Listen with your whole self.  

Take home learnings but don’t identify anyone other than yourself, now or later. If you want to follow up with anyone regarding something they said in this session, ask first and respect their wishes.

Respect varying forms of expression, eye contact, body language, different cultures, languages, and multiple forms of communication and learning.

Refrain from giving advice or fixing. Ask if advice is welcome or invited first. Can I be with this feeling, allowing people to have their experience?

We encourage you to create community agreements as a collective to ensure each member of your team feels supported, connected, and respected. To start the process, begin with the question: What do you need from every person in this group in order to serve our community well and stay connected to our core values while achieving our collective vision?