Guidelines for Team Communication & Interaction

Meeting Records/Minutes

We will not keep minutes for our meetings. Rather, each member is responsible for keeping their own notes regarding action items, deadlines for response, etc. A template note sheet was distributed at the first meeting. Following each meeting, a record of key decisions made (if any) will be drafted by the Team chair and disseminated via e-mail.

Team members who miss a meeting will be responsible for following up with a fellow team members to obtain missed information. However, for purposes of maintaining group trust and confidentiality, as well as continuity of information, designees will not be allowed.

Ground Rules

  • We will be candid and forthright with each other regarding our beliefs, feedback and perspectives.
  • We will frame our comments, concerns and observations in terms of the problems and issues involved, rather than the people who are in implementation roles.
  • We will not engage in retaliatory behavior or give retribution in response to team members sharing honestly about their opinions, feelings and thoughts.
  • We will strictly honor the confidentiality of our meetings; clarification will be sought with fellow team members prior to sharing the content of our meeting discussions with individuals beyond the team.
  • We will end each meeting with an affirmation of action steps identified and the responsible individual(s) assigned to each.

Decision-Making Process

  • Prior to making a decision, the team will first affirm that it has the authority and purview to make the decision. Otherwise, we should make a recommendation to the appropriate decision-maker and/or refer the decision to an appropriate decision-maker/governing body.
  • Consensus with clarification – not unanimity – will be the decision-making method adopted by this team.
  • Votes will be used only as a barometer for assessing how close we are to achieving a team consensus.
  • In developing consensus, care and consideration will be given to address, ameliorate or accommodate the concerns of minority voices, and as needed or appropriate, such concerns, caveats, cautions, etc. will be noted in the record of the decision and in subsequent communications about the decision.
  • We will also be sure to engage in consultation with constituencies not represented on the team to ensure we have complete, accurate and relevant information. As needed, we will also allow for sufficient time to solicit feedback from our respective administrative units before a decision is made.
  • Once a decision has been made, all team members will share ownership for the decision and work collaboratively to ensure its implementation.
  • Disagreements about a decision should take place within our meetings before it is made, not publicly once we have committed to a course of action.

Maintaining Group Accountability

  • This team is devoted to thoughtful discussion and analysis, followed by careful action and implementation. We are not just a group that dialogues about issues and makes recommendation for somebody else to implement.
  • All team members share equitably in the responsibility for respectfully holding each other – including the chair and co-chair of the team - accountable for adhering to our team ground rules, as well as for following up on their assigned tasks and actions.
  • For each decision made, the team will also identify outcome measures that define what success would look like. Follow up to ensure outcomes are achieved for each decision will be assigned to a team member.
  • It is expected that team members will provide genuine support to each other for difficult and/or controversial decisions that must be made; we will create “umbrage” and “cover” for each other so that “end runs” cannot be made around the decision implementer.
  • The team chair and co-chair will also assume responsibility for keeping the Chancellor and other members of the University’s senior leadership team informed of our discussions and decisions.
  • Team members will participate in discussions and decisions in a manner that reflects commitment to what is in the best interest of the University of Hawaii at Hilo as a whole and of its students – not to our respective administrative areas or personal agendas.

Drafted 9/5/08 by L. Hong Finalized 9/28/08 by L. Hong