Meeting Guidelines and Guidelines for Safe Communications
To keep the COSA Zoom Room safe, we COSAs:
- Mute our microphone unless sharing or when asked to unmute by the Lead.
- Are aware certain attire may be triggering for others and dress accordingly.
- Stay attentive, avoid cell phone use/texting, minimize distracting movements, eating, etc.
- Consider using ear buds if another person around us is able to hear anything. Meetings are private and anonymous.
- We make sure that we are the only person others in the meeting can see and that meeting participants are only visible to us.
- Keep our video on. We make a visual and verbal introduction when entering the room for the safety of others. When possible, we inform “Everyone” in the chat box as a courtesy to the group if we must turn off our video.
- Communicate any barriers at the beginning of the meeting. For example, if our home has people or activities going on, we may have to suddenly stop our video.
- Make a habit of arriving on time and staying for the entire meeting.
- To keep meetings healthy, we do not refer to specific acting out places, people, or behaviors, but rather speak in general terms and refer to how we feel. It is most helpful when members focus on the tools of the program, including the Steps, Traditions, and slogans. It is part of the trusted servant’s role and everyone’s responsibility to gently speak up if someone shifts away from these guidelines.
- Share our own experience, strength, and hope (ESH) with the group, speaking in “I” terms (rather than using ‘you’) and keeping the focus on our own journey.
- Advice-giving, telling others what they should do, judging or commenting on what people say or cross talk, including directing comments to a group member, or using another participants name during share, are all strongly discouraged.
To keep all of our meetings safe, we recommend that
the “Guidelines for Safe Communications” are followed.
- We respect others and ourselves in the group by using the safety guidelines.
- We use “I” or “we” statements. We avoid blaming and shaming, button pushing, case building and the taking or sharing of another person’s inventory. (Taking inventory = honesty about only your own defects of character; acceptance that “the problem” is within yourself without blaming others.)
- We practice active listening, especially when in meetings.
- We respectfully allow others to have the floor. We do not interrupt others.
- We remain present when others are addressing the group.
- We end meetings on time to allow people to attend to their personal needs.
- We agree that one person at a time has the floor.
- We wait until the speaker is finished, before raising our hands or if by phone, asking to be recognized by the Leader to speak.
- We ask for clarity and use mirror feedback if we are uncertain about what the speaker is saying.
- We avoid triangulating with others by practicing direct communication.
- We say what we mean, mean what we say, and we do not say it meanly. When we say how we feel, what we think, and what we like or dislike, we use care and concern for the relationships within our group.
- We accept that we will have disagreements.
- We accept that there are many right answers.
- We speak in polite voices. We do not use yelling, intimidation, or sarcasm.
- We agree to keep our language clean.
- We table issues when emotions run high, for a period, beginning with 15 minutes, or until the next meeting.
- We commit to return to discussion of tabled issues at a specific mutually acceptable time.
- We own our responsibility for our own feelings and triggers. We contain ourselves.
- We agree that all of us are equally responsible for the relationships within the group. (See Traditions 2 & 4: 2- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. 4 – Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or COSA as a whole.)
- We agree to show up, speak our truths, and then, turn over the outcomes to our HP as expressed in our Group Conscience.