Re: Meeting strategies--check-out/Check in
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 94 16:12 CDT
 Nancy Wight  wrote:

We are under extreme time pressure right now because of the summer
schedule of the planning board in town, and we must get the new
fully engineered site plan to them by June 20, or risk seriously
jeopardizing the entire project.  We have engineers working on it this
weekend - we *had* to make a decision.  At the meeting, we had a
check-in, but at 10:00 we were still not finished and people were
starting to get frustrated and tired, and began to leave.

It is these sorts of meetings where you find out how solid your 
connections really are.  When the group is stressed is precisely when 
disruptions tend to occur.  Being frustrated and tired is when your 
communication links are at their most tenuous.  I have observed in our 
own group  that this is a point where your foundations are tested.  For 
example I know Bob tends to get pretty grouchy when he is tired and may 
become snappish. Because I know this about Bob, I discount his snappish 
remarks to his being tired and take no offense.  If my foundations were 
weak, and I did not know this about Bob, I could easily take offense, 
erupt in a defensive remark and off we would go on a heated and useless 
distraction.  This is multiplied for each member and is where 
individual dominance really shows up.  If there is a dominant person in 
your group they will be "in charge" in such situations and will display 
their true egalitarian colors.

Having a strong foundation of understanding each other lets you weather 
the storms ahead.  That is why having sharing circles really helps, 
especially if you include self analysis in such sharing. I am working 
on a self analysis test for group process work which hopefully will 
help individuals within groups identify their group personalities. 
Building understandings of each other before you hit a storm can keep a 
group from losing members. You can also use crunch points as tools to 
analysis what went well and what didn't and what to improve the next 
time.  Sharingwood has a committee whose focus is group process, 
learning about it, improving it, and this has helped us improve over time.

Rob Sandelin

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