How to Make Rules

Rules make playing games, getting along with siblings, and even doing a job easier, since everyone is aware of what they can and cannot do. If you have a situation where there are no rules, and you need to make some, here are some steps to help.


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    Get a notebook, paper, blackboard, or other item to write the list of rules down on. Something that can be erased may be best, since some changes are inevitable.
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    Get a pencil or other writing tool to write your list with.
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    Assemble the group you are part of who will be affected by the rules. Make sure everyone who wants to contribute to the rule making process is present, since objections tend to lead to failure to follow rules. If the group you are a part of has a designated leader, he or she will be in charge of making the rules, but should be able to listen and give good guidance to the process.
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    Open a dialogue with the people present, whether it's a children's club or an adult work team, explaining to everyone the reason rules are desirable. Ask them for input in each rule considered.
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    Have each person in the group list rules they think will be valuable to the group's situation. For some clubs, for instance, rules against sharing secrets may be very important, for an adult work team, allocation of resources may be an example.
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    Think about basic social rules everyone should be familiar with, like being truthful, being polite, and being willing to do one's share of tasks.
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    Look at possible rules specific to your situation. For a club, for instance, a rule may require each person contribute dues at a set interval, or each person might be required to bring snacks and drinks every so often.
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    Go down the list of potential rules, allowing people to discuss the wording and merit of each. After a discussion of each rule, allow the group to vote whether to accept or reject the rule in question.
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    Make a complete list of accepted rules, and make sure each member of the group receives a copy, and also post a copy for everyone to review when needed.


  • General rules work well for universal topics, such as no stealing, but specific rules are easier to conform to if the situation dictates.
  • Make a provision to challenge and strike down rules that fail to do what they are intended to do.

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Categories: Leadership and Mentoring