Re: Meeting strategies?
From: Judy (BAXTER%EPIHUBVX.CIS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 94 11:48 CDT
Rob asked:

> As part of our on-going process in search of the perfect meeting we
> (sharingwood) is gathering info on effective meeting strategies.  I
> would greatly appreciate a brief summary of how you and yours conduct a
> typical meeting.
And Nancy Wight of New View responded at length.  

THANKS Nancy - I have been looking for the time and energy to respond, and now
I can piggy back on your description.

Monterey Cohousing has a very similar format for our meetings.
Agenda Review --We have been doing that informally - seems a good idea.
        A flip chart is very helpful for this, and all through.

Assignments - At the beginning of each meeting, we request volunteers for 1) a
notetaker, 2) a timekeeper.  Our "oversight team" recruits the facilitator in
advance.  We also have a process observer and sometimes a stacker, to keep
track of who wants to speak.  We use the stacker when there are lots of people
wanting to talk - you can get onto the list and then listen to the discussion
instead of focussing on getting the facilitator's attention

Check-in - Similar to what others have described on this list.  
<<   We pass around a watch with a second hand -.....>>
This sounds like a good idea to me.  We have had lots of observers and
associate members, with intros, so this can get long

Announcements
Reports - from Committees - so people know what is happening
Discussion: 
We try to separate reports from discussion items, and keep the 
number of such for each meeting small.  We use discussions, go-rounds, small
groups.  Can't remember a lot of brainstorming lately.  The small group
discussions  have been very helpful.  

We try not to go more than 1 1/2 - 2 hours without a break.  And Meetings are
more and more being kept to a 3 hour time limit.

Check-out - gets spotty.  After a long meeting, a lot of people just want to
leave - our child care people are leaving and kids are arriving - so often very
short or little participation.  Yes - more so after a particularly hard
meeting.

We copy minutes and put them in mailboxes at the "HOUSE" - non residents seem
to come over often enough, one way or another, to gt their copies. But it IS
too hard to mail them.  You can tell someone isn't really active if their
mailbox fills up.

We have had a variety of retreats/play days/ parties.  Lately we have combined
a work project (yard cleanup) with a BBQ/party, and that has worked well. 
We've had a number of birthday parties for people, with people from the
community and others, a wedding, a graduation party for a daughter of a
resident.  Before the Phase I move in we had an annual retreat weekend, twice,
and since then we've had an in-house weekend with workshops on Meyers-Briggs
and conflict resolution.  

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, (MoCoCo)
Twin Cities Area, Minneapolis/St.Paul Minnesota
e-mail: baxter [at] epivax.epi.umn.edu

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