Chatham House Rule

The first time I went to a professional meeting governed under Chatham House Rule I wasn’t really sure what it was. If you haven’t experienced Chatham House Rule, I believe it’s very important to understand it beforehand. 

Under Chatham House Rule, anyone who comes to a meeting is free to use information from the discussion but is not allowed to reveal who made any particular comment. 

The format is intended to promote open discussion, particularly on more sensitive topics. 

The challenging thing with this format (particularly if you’re experiencing it for the first time) is navigating the grey zone of sensitive information. 

The bottom line is that anything you share privately can still be made public, and I believe this is a good model to guide your contribution. 

There may be some people that choose to share commercially sensitive information, but don’t allow for that to influence what you would otherwise be willing to share. 

And at the end of the day, people are engaging in this format to find solutions to shared problems, so it’s good to focus the conversation on tangible outcomes.


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