|Re: Meeting strategies||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)|
|Date: Fri, 3 Jun 94 14:00 CDT|
Judy Baxter asked: By the way, how does your group do meetings? Sharingwood has a general meeting once a month of 20-25 people and several smaller committee and task force meetings which occur weekly, bi-weekly or whenever needed. Meeting agendas are published in our monthly newsletter the Sharingword. We start with a check-in. We have a communications and process committee in charge of coming up with the check-in and it varies each meeting. Last month we did a short mime of how we were feeling, the month before we sang our names, individually and collectively. Sometimes we just go around with a brief what's up with me sort of thing. Check in takes between 5 and 15 minutes depending on what the task is. The meeting roles we use are facilitator, vibes watcher, time keeper and scribe. The vibes watcher is in charge of keeping an eye on how people are being treated and what sort of non-verbal things are going on in the meeting. They advise the facilitator of any observations which may affect the meeting and at the end they also point out any observations for the whole group to be aware of. We start out with an agenda review and then move into announcements. Agenda review is done with the idea of evaluating each item as a large group process issue or not. The agenda is open and anyone can add things although usually the board sets most of the agenda. Often things get punted to task forces or committees from this. For example a couple of meetings ago we moved the mailboxes. Rather than spend large group time on it the facilitator called for a DTF (Disappearing Task Force) people who cared about the mail boxes or wanted to help raised their hands, a convenor volunteered and the item was removed from the agenda. Took maybe 30 seconds of large group time. The task force met, talked over the issue, and completed the task. Our goal with large group meeting time is to only focus on information exchange from small group to large group and issues which need the input of everyone such as brainstorming policy ideas or approval of small group initiatives. Small groups are empowered to do a lot of the detail stuff. After agenda review comes reports from committees. Typically these take up the first 1/2 hour of the meeting. These are information exchange sessions and are both verbal and have minutes posted. Then we work through the agenda items, with the facilitator setting priority of which items based on time needed and feedback from the group on importance. The facilitator continually checks the progress of the group, summarizing and determines which process to use for which item. We usually have about 60 to 90 minutes of things on the agenda and each item has an assigned time by the facilitator. The time keeper advises us on how much time we have spent on an item or if we run over. The facilitator evaluates our progress on items and sometimes we will stop work on one thing and punt it to the next meeting if it is not finished in order to get to another item. There are many subtle group dynamic things which happen which affect the meeting process and these are too numerous and hard to explain to detail here. Another posting sometime? Meeting closure, like meeting openings varies month to month. One of our favorite closures is an appreciation's circle where we all give recognition to the work others have done and say thank you's. It usually takes 10 minutes or so to close. In the afternoon of general meeting day we have a Sharing Circle meeting. In this meeting people can talk about whatever is on their mind that might be bothering them, and usually there is some kind of sharing of self. Topics for sharing have included: why did you come to live here, I want Sharingwood to be a place where..., I really admire..., What I do at work all day, Stories from childhood. The sharing circle is not open to visitors. Usually get about 10-12 at this meeting, occasionally more. There are no expectations of attending this and those who don't like the "touchy-feely" stuff typically don't. The regular core which does this has grown very close and uses behavioral feedback language more than those who do not. During the sharing circle time is the kids meeting, which is facilitated by one adult. The kids set the agenda, although often adults have initiated the ideas. Every kid over 5 is expected to attend the kids meeting and actually all the kids usually attend (even the two year olds) Typically on meeting day there are also work parties and a potluck and so some people spend the whole day working on community stuff. In the evening there is sometimes an activity such as a slide show, a video, sometimes even a visiting lecturer. Small group meetings have a convenor who is charged with setting and publishing agendas and posting minutes. Small groups do almost all the real work and handle the details.
re: meeting strategies fassnach, May 17 1994
- Re: Meeting strategies Rob Sandelin, June 3 1994
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