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05 Ground rules

By November 19, 2013March 9th, 2018Resources, Toolkit




This exercise is meant to establish an open, non-judgemental and safe working environment amongst the participants. The working agreement arrived at through this exercise will enhance ownership over the workshop as well as over personal learning among the participants.


To establish a set of working agreements that will facilitate participation

Approximate Time

30 Minutes

Materials Needed




Explain to participants that if the group is to work and learn together in a constructive way, it will be important to have a set of ground-rules or working agreements, which are a kind of contract between all the members of the group. These should cover issues such as confidentiality, listening to each other, allowing everyone to participate, etc.

Divide the participants into fours and fives and ask each small group to discuss and agree three agreements which they will propose to the remainder of the group.  Ask them to consider specifically what will be needed in order for people to feel able to talk in this setting about sex and pleasure (e.g. assumptions about people and disclosure).

When the small groups have completed this task re-assemble in plenary and ask the groups to tell the others their rules in turn and see if the others agree to them or not.

All those rules which are agreed to by everyone should be written on a sheet of paper stuck on the wall and left there as a reminder to participants throughout the course.

Processing – ask participants:

  • How did it feel to participate in that activity?

  • What did you learn from the activity?

Don’t forget to leave us a comment about your experience with this exercise!