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Benjamin Franklin's Junto Club Rules

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 29 May 2020



Benjamin Franklin's Junto Club Rules
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 239
Posted DateFriday 29 May 2020 13:12 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I have talked in the past about Benjamin Franklins Junto Club. It's a lovely concept that is still around today in the form of Franklin Circles.

To qualify as a member of his club, each person was asked to stand up and lay his hand on his breast, and answer the following questions as indicated.
  1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? Answer. I have not.
  2. Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general; of what profession or religion soever? Answer. I do.
  3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship? Answer. No.
  4. Do you love truth's sake, and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself and communicate it to others? Answer. Yes.
I rather like these questions, and they could quite easily form the backbone for a modern-day conversation or conversational club.

I plan at some point to re-write them in modern-day English. I may even change them or add to them a little. One candidate question, suggested by Andrew Gaines is:

Do you agree to have your ideas challenged without rancour?

I would go further and say:

Do you love to have your ideas challenged?

Andrew's response to this though was that "without rancour' would be a pretty good start!

I have started a thread on this topic in my Conversational Leadership Forum on LinkedIn - join the conversation and leave some suggestions there.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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