Re: Meeting strategies--check-out
From: Pablo Halpern (
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 94 08:30 CDT
> From: "Richard A. Lynch" <rlynch [at]>

> More kudos to Nancy et. al. for an excellent _and_ brief summary of
> meeting structure. I've noticed, however, that several people have remark
> that check-out often gets skimped on -- the hour is late, kids are fussy
> tomorrow's workday is looming, etc.  I'd like to make an argument for
> the importance of check-out;  I don't think it should be skimped on, and
> feel it is more important than check-in/announcements.

Our group is somewhat split on check-in vs. check-out if time does not 
permit both.  We do not live together yet, so check-in provides an 
important time to hear what's going on in one another's lives and to 
mentally arrive at the meeting.  (It is also something that can go on 
without a quarum if there are late-comers :-) )

[deleted: excelent description of how check-out helps people and the group]

> Secondly, and relatedly, because a check-out takes *time* (usually 5-10
> minutes, depending upon the number of meeting participants)

Ah. That's another problem. Our group has over 40 adults.  A reasonably 
well-attended meeting has over 20 adults.  A bare minimum checkout takes 
20-25 minutes for us. Our meetings are usually limited to 2 hours. Taking 
25% of that meeting for check-out is a bigger time sacrifice than the 5-10 
minutes you mentioned.  If we did check-in and check-out and anouncements 
and had a break in the middle of the meeting, we would only have 30-45 
minutes left to discuss business. Something has to give, so we alternate 
between cutting check-in and cutting check-out.

> So I apologize for this long-winded rant on a relatively minor topic,
> but who knows, maybe this will convince someone.

I don't think its a minor topic. Good group process is vitally important. 
BTW, I don't disagree with anything you said, its just that for large 
groups of people that don't live in the same place, we have to make time 
trade-offs no matter how valid check-out may be.

- Pablo

Pablo Halpern              (508) 435-5274         phalpern [at]

New View Neighborhood Development, Acton, MA

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