|Facilitating kid meetings||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Kevin Wolf (kjwolfdcn.davis.ca.us)|
|Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 20:04:05 -0700 (MST)|
At 07:29 PM 2/28/98 -0600, you wrote: A little while back >they came to us and asked for help facilitating their meetings (we're still >working on that - here's one for the list: how do you facilitate a meeting >when the participants have 15 minute attention spans?). Hi Jesse asked how one facilitates a meeting with kids with a 15 minute attention span - I first thought it read 1.5 minute attention span which sounded more accurate :-) We haven't had any kid meetings in a year or so but I was the one who facilitated the kids meetings (ages 5 - 14) for a few years. The kids wouldn't allow any other adults because their parents especially wanted them to sit down, not squirm, etc. The kids wanted their own meetings and I gained their trust by helping them without being judgemental. I have described these as the most demanding I have ever facilitated (and I facilitate a lot of meetings). The wide spread age differences make it such that the older kids are more dominating and can push the younger ones into decisions they might not want. My job entailed helping make sure that the younger ones were heard, that the right questions were asked, that basic groundrules were followed, that they agreed on their agenda objectives before starting the meeting, that decisions were clear, etc. If you think you are a good facilitator in terms of helping a group make decisions without forcing your own ideas and structure on them, facilitating kids meetings is a good test of one's skills. Some of the kids' issues were quite intense. For example, some kids felt that some parents automatically took their own kids side in any dispute and didn't spend the time listening and ensuring that their kids were telling the whole story. (Lesson here parents - don't make snap judgements when coming upon a conflict or problem. Take the time to listen. Get another adult to participate. Use good conflict mediation skills. And don't automatically take your kids side. The other kids can quickly form opinions of adults.) It took a while to heal this lack of respect that developed. Some kids still don't like some of the adults in the community because of these past problems. N Street kids here will have future meetings when they have a need for them. In the meantime, they evolve, we evolve and, in general, there is a lot of harmony and little reason to meet. Kevin Kevin Wolf & Associates - Consensus Facilitation 724 N Street - Strategic and Watershed Davis, CA 95616 planning kjwolf [at] dcn.davis.ca.us - Internet development Phone 530-758-4211 - Stanislaus Stakeholder proccess Fax 530-758-2338 http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/kjwolf
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