Re: Meeting strategies--check-out
From: Hungerford, David (
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 94 14:05 CDT
Pablo Halpern wrote:

>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. 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.

20-25 MINUTES!!!!?  When our group (roughly the same size) was in the earlier 
stages we also all felt the need to address every issue, many of us at 
length.  This naturally resulted in gawdawfully long meetings, or meetings 
that compressed the later agenda items.  After over five years, we have been 
learning to be more economical with our turns at speaking as well as our 
length of oration.  I am one of the more (most, some would say) verbose 
members of our group. But even I have learned that I don't have to insert my 
wisdom(!?) into every discussion, and that talking, or thinking about what 
I'm going to say, interferes with listening.  Our "meeting evaluations," or 
check-outs, are usually alloted 5 minutes and happen every meeting.  Those 
who really want to continue discussing earlier agenda items, or other 
concerns, tend to stick around after the meeting.  If a real issue crops up 
then, then they take it to our "Coordinating Committee" (which sets the 
meeting agendas/keeps tabs on community temperature).  I don't know if it is 
necessary for every group to go through the endless talking stage, like a 
preschooler who is learning language and expression,  but we currently 
believe that a more effective group process is to go for economy of meeting 
time and minimization of redundancy (of course, we can always change our 
minds, no process/procedure need be permanent.)  Have other "moved-in" groups 
had the same experience?

David Hungerford
Muir Commons Cohousing
Davis, CA  dghungerfod [at]

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