Re: Meeting Times - Facilitation
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 19:45:06 -0500
Chris Chrysostom wrote:
> 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.

I think that a good facilitator CAN make a group to stick to an agenda or 
meeting rules.  This has to be done very skillfully and tactfully, however.  
starters, the facilitator should start the meeting by reviewing the agenda, the 
purpose of the meeting (or each agenda itme), and the group's meeting ground 
rules.  Then during the course of the meeting if someone or the whole group 
asway from any of these things, the facilitator can remind them of the 
made at the beginnig of the meeting.

This is not to say that the facilitator cannot make changes to the agenda or 
purpose during the course of the meeting based on how things are proceeding, 
this must be done overtly with the particpants' agreement.

I've never had to ask anyone to leave a meeting and find it hard to imagine in 
cohousing environment, but I've taken facilitation training from a woman who 
done just that.  She asked the particpant if he wanted to follow the group's 
ground rules and when he continued to violate them, she asked him to leave.  
not in any way a brute and I don't think that tha's necessary.  She simply 
understood that her job was to guide the group in the meeting towards achieving 
their agreed upon purpose and she did so with the necessary assertiveness.

           Mac Thomson                   San Juan Cohousing
           ganesh [at]                Durango, Colorado

 "When the forms of the old culture are dying, a new culture is created by a 
people who are not afraid of being insecure."
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