EPIC’s Group Norms

At the beginning of this school year, the members of EPIC agreed on certain norms to follow when meeting together. We recognize the value of this process for any group that meets regularly to grow in friendship and faith together. Here are the norms for our group.

EPIC Group Norms
Last edited October 12, 2017

  1. Be kind.
  2. Use the “me too” sign rather than rephrasing what someone just said.
  3. Be respectful of the space we are borrowing and of each other’s personal space. Seek consent (physical and otherwise).
  4. Keep side conversations to a minimum. Don’t talk over others.
  5. Be respectful of others’ ideas. Don’t try to convert people. Ask before you argue: “Do you have the energy to argue now, or should we do this some other time?”
  6. “Step up/step back”: Be mindful of how much of the conversation you are taking. Claim your air time, but let others in, too.
  7. Keep personal stories confidential. If you’re unsure, ask.
  8. When focus is called for, focus on the task. It might not be the right time to be goofy.
  9. Don’t just welcome people to EPIC; invite them.
  10. Remember: to everything there is a season.

A Script for Non-Violent Communication

As friendships develop, sometimes our feelings get hurt. We should expect this in the natural course of getting to know someone more deeply. Conflict is an invitation to intimacy! The following script is designed for you to use when you feel stepped on or slighted.

“When you ____ (past tense verb, an objective observation of something that has just happened)

… I felt _____ (name your specific feelings, not an assessment of the other person’s intent).

The story I’m making up in my head is _____ (your interpretation of the incident).

I would like ____ (you’re asking here for the other person to respond or change in some way).

In return, I will ______ (you’re committing to make a change yourself, for the sake of the relationship).”

Using this script may feel awkward, especially at first. By adopting it as a group, we’re allowing for that awkwardness while acknowledging that we have found it to be helpful in the past. And we agree that it’s better to use an awkward script than to fail to address the “pinch” in a relationship that matters to you.


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