RE: Meeting Times
From: Chris Chrysostom (
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 11:19:35 -0500
Rob Sandelin wrote:

> You need better facilitators. Part of the facilitators job is to manage the 
> agenda, helping the group prioritize and use their time to maximum 
> effectiveness. There is a whole course of study in becoming an excellent 
> facilitator, and when you have excellent facilitators your meetings tend to 
> run excellently. 

I agree, but I also realize that facilitation takes practice. If a group
rotates facilitators regularly (like every month) then individuals don't
have a chance to improve and excel at facilitation. I suppose a group could
assign facilitation to a core group of individuals. This would require the
rest of the group to trust the core group's agendas.

On the flip side, I think participants need to follow a facilitator's cues
or instructions. I have noticed that one facilitator cannot force a group
of adults to stick to the agenda or follow meeting rules. Afterall, if a
member misbehaves, can you make that member leave? Participants must choose
to follow the rules (or the facilitator) to allow the meeting to run smoothly.

> Stuff falling off the agenda is either because the facilitator is not doing 
> that job well, or because the group does not want to deal with that issue now.

Or, the group has a LOT of issues that must be discussed deeply with the whole
group present. In our case with Wasatch Cohousing, our biweekly general business
meeting is the time when most or all members converge to the same place at
the same time. Those of us with e-mail access try to discuss proposals before
dealing with them in meetings, but only half our households have e-mail access.
As a result, many "discussion" items end up on the agenda, which often pushes
some items off the agenda.

-- Chris Chrysostom
   Wasatch Cohousing
   Salt Lake City, Utah

   I tip my hat to Jordan.   
   The Jazz will get 'em in Chicago!

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