These guidelines are just that. The channel owner and/or Operators (OP’s) have discretion in specific cases especially where discipline is involved. However the channel must have consistency to be considered fair in dealing with everyone. It will be rare when exceptions are made. We always welcome suggestions. Please send them to any OP (operator) or to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) MEETING PROTOCOL
A) SLAA TWELVE TRADITIONS
Note that these guidelines are written for face-to-face meetings that have organizational problems we don’t always have on-line.
B) STANDARD MEETING FORMAT
The format for this style meeting is quite simple. If you wish to share with the group, please wait until the person currently sharing is finished. Then enter "!" to request "the floor". While sharing, please end each line with "..." to indicate that you are not yet finished. When you are finished, please say so by typing <done>. The leader will then give someone else a chance to share.
When someone else is sharing, the role of the other attendees is to be "active listeners." An "active listener," does not interrupt, judge, or ask questions. But, an active listener may offer brief words of encouragement such as -- nods… agrees… understands... or says RIGHT ON!…or CHEERS!!... or UNDERSTANDS... or NODS.
Please take note of the number of participants in the meeting, and adjust your sharing time to allow everyone a chance to share.
We will end the meeting with the "Promises" and a Prayer. At that point, everyone may chat informally. Thanks for your help in following this format! Meetings should last about one hour. Everyone should feel free to leave, but also feel welcome to stay as some of us will hang around for informal chat and even last minute shares for late comers.
C) GIVING FEEDBACK
We only give feedback when it is directly requested, and only after the meeting or in pm. Even during feedback, please remember to focus on yourself, sharing from personal experience, strength, and hope as it relates to the original share.
REMEMBER: We are NOT professional counselors! Limit feedback to your own experiences, strengths and encouragement as they relate to the share you heard.
2) MEETING ETIQUETTEA) PRE MEETING
This is a great time to catch up on news, greet friends, and chat about your recovery problems and triumphs. For those who get here early there is usually some wonderful socializing. But we need to remember we are addicts and need to behave appropriately. We ALL need this #SLAA room to be as safe as possible and only you can do that. No amount of policing can keep it safe - just YOU!!!!
Keep talk to recovery, family and current issues in a safe fashion. This is NOT a time to flirt, engage in racy talk or attempt inappropriate behaviors.
It is highly recommended that you keep talk in main channel. There is little you should need to say that is private and would require a message window or DCC window.
If the room is very crowded or a conversation is personal as between a sponsor and sponsee or between recovery partners then by all means open a message window. (Known as "talking in the hall.") If you do, be aware that you have a responsibility to the other party to behave appropriately and safely.
B) DURING MEETINGS
Your purpose in attending a meeting is to participate in your recovery. This includes but is not limited to sharing your stories and experiences, hopes and headaches, receiving feedback at meetings for that purpose, and learning how recovery works and gaining insight from listening to others in recovery.
During a meeting we listen, share and encourage our recovery friends. We highly encourage you to be "present" in the meeting, participating by keeping your dialog in the main SLAA window and limit your "chatting" so that the most beneficial elements of the meeting are not missed. There is little that should need to be said in a private window that cannot wait until after the meeting.
Please be considerate of others when sharing. While we need honesty we do not need to be triggering. The purpose of sharing is to convey where we are, ask for help, and to be encouraging. We encourage shares that bring us up to date such as a check-in BUT we do not need the use of triggering words or offensive language in a share to be effective.
Please do not cross talk during shares. As noted above in the MEETING FORMAT only one or two words of encouragement or empathy should be needed during a share. Cross talk includes advice, commentary, questions and other inappropriate behavior that is disruptive and interferes with the flow of the share and may upset or distract the person sharing. Repeat offenders may be kicked from the room after a warning.
Please limit the use of popups and aliases to one or two line congratulatory popups during a share when complimenting a success or providing encouragement. The preferred time for these "fun" items is after a share.
Refrain from welcoming friends into the room after sharing has begun until a share has ended. Just like cross talk this can be very distracting to the person sharing and is rude. Wait until a share is finished.
Remember that everyone had fragile egos when they came into recovery. We remember our own pain and difficulty getting words out. Be understanding and empathetic when making any comment. Be sure you understand what was said.
Please disable any automatic message systems that provide two or three lines of information on you, the time when you leave and when you will return from a channel or go away from the keyboard(AFK). These are very disruptive during a share. Simply changing you nick to <nick-AFK> is adequate.
C) POST MEETING
For a very large meeting and with latecomers we encourage those who have not had the opportunity to share to do so at this time. Please be aware and courteous at these times. These people usually need to share and if someone begins please cease all chatter and listen as if the meeting were continuing.
This is the most dangerous time of the meetings. We tend to relax and let our hair down a bit. We recommend especially newbies stay out of private messages and DCC chats for their own good. All of us need to be aware of the risks during this period and behave with caution and respect for our recovery friends. For your safety's sake, please refrain from exchanging phone numbers or physical addresses until you get to know someone well.
By all means socialize and make friends during this time if you can stay. We all need friends during this trying period of our lives. The good friends we make here will be some of the few friends we have where we can talk recovery without fear of misunderstanding and rebuke.
This is a great time to get to know the people who can help your recovery. Finding an appropriate sponsor and recovery partner can make a substantial difference in your recovery success.
D) BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES
The ability to keep this room safe is entirely up to you. Refuse to be a part of any sexual encounter.
Please report all inappropriate behaviors promptly to a room Operator (an OP). They are the ones at the top of the names list with an @ before their names and lead meetings. These behaviors include any inappropriate language, rumors about other members, harassment of any kind and sexual advances of any kind.
These motions cover various guidelines including behavior... please be sure to review them.