|Re: Meetings||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Buzz Burrell (72253.2101CompuServe.COM)|
|Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 15:27:33 -0500|
>We currently hold two 3-hour general meetings each month, followed by a >dinner social. The meetings are well-planned and productive. (Individual >committees usually meet once between each general meeting.) We have the exact same schedule, which seems to work fine, although we are in no hurry. The key in my mind, is that general meetings are not for work, they are geared for making decisions. As soon as any discussion gets real complicated, the facilitator just employs Effective Maneuver #1: Give the question to a committee (or individual), have them take input from the group, work up a proposal, fax it to everyone *before* the next meeting, and then you're ready to make short work of it. This stradegy only works if people are good at reading and writing; other people (fortunately, no one in our small group), can only take in information orally. Take note of how your group learns, and then communicate using that style. I've noticed so many times, when a proposal is made verbally, it resurfaces continually for months, but when its put on paper, there is the ability to decide on it quickly. (There are assorted facilitator tricks one can employ here, but in order to protect my reputation I won't mention them). Our group likes solutions, and so rather than discuss problems, we frame questions as proposals. An actual proposal, even if nobody likes it, gives a focal point on which to build a solution. People can go through a written document, change words and sentences until they get bored, feel they've had enough input, or simply run out of time, and then the balance of the document is usually approved, and you're ready to move on. Excuse me if I sound cavalier, but some things are really important, and some things frankly are not, and that's where the time starts to add up. In the later stages, every decision will have somewhat of a significant outcome - blue or green house paint? - and whatever you decide is what you get. But in the land search phase, you really don't know what the heck is going to happen, and so I think it's best not to spend a whole lot of time on the details. The early stages are a good time to get clear on Values and Vision; this can save time later. Lastly, and back to the original how-many-meetings question, we do special meetings, which are essential. This coming Saturday, for example, we are all going together on an Eco-Home Tour, and will informally share and learn about what's out there and how we feel about it. Take Care! Buzz Burrell Geneva Community
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