Facilitating General Meetings Tips and Info
UNDERSTANDING THE AGENDA AND HOW TO USE IT
As a FACILITATOR, one of the first things you should do is get to know the agenda, which can always be found @ https://pad.riseup.net/p/omninom
- Recognize the different roles people can take on to help with the overall facilitation of the meeting and ask for volunteers to take on these roles
- STACK-TAKER will keep track of who raises hands and make sure people speak when it’s their turn
- TIMEKEEPER will make sure to let everyone know when a topic is nearing the time allotted to it and letting people know if they are speaking too long, i.e. taking up a lot of the allotted time to a certain topic
- NOTE-TAKER should hopefully have a computer or borrow one so that they can quickly take notes, directly onto https://pad.riseup.net/p/omninom, to be archived. Note-taker’s should be as diligent as they can at collecting relevant information, including peoples names when necessary, and so on
- DELEGATES are members of collectives who have been given delegate standing by their group. Delegates form the crux of our consensus process. While the whole meeting functions under a consensus, discussion-based process, when a proposal needs to be formally agreed upon, the delegates are those who come together to reach consensus and decide whether a proposal passes or not
- QUORUM is the number of delegates, present at the general meeting, in order to formally pass a proposal. If quorum is not reach, delegates can still discuss proposals but formal consensus to pass a proposal cannot take place. Quorum is defined by the presence of ⅔, rounded down of delegate-representatives from the member collectives, i.e. if there are 10 member collectives currently making up the Omni, then there must be 7 delegates present to have quorum
- VIBE READER is someone who will call out moments of the meeting that begin to get too tense. They’ll remind everyone that we are all in this together, we’re all working towards consensus, agreement and a shared vision
- Understand the HAND SIGNALS and briefly explain them to the group so that everyone understands how to effectively communicate their desire to speak
- RAISING A HAND means you’d like to be put on stack, which will put you in line to speak after those who raised their hands before. Making eye-contact with the stack-taker, while raising your hands, is usually enough to get on stack
- Moving hands back and forth, like your washing a plate, while pointing them towards a person who is speaking, is a DIRECT RESPONSE which means you intend to provide a short, factual point of information. A direct response doesn’t include an opinion or point of view, but simply provides what you think is relevant information to the speaker
- Lifting a hand and WIGGLING FINGERS is a way to show non-verbal support of anything that takes place in the meeting
- WELCOME NEWCOMERS to the general, delegates meeting and let them know we are excited they're joining us. Let them know that we often have a lot of very pressing and important proposals to get through and this is often the only time during the week where we all get together to discuss the details of what's happening in the building. Encourage them to join the discussion. Being at the meeting means you are a significant part of the meeting.
- INTRODUCTIONS are a way to give everyone in the room the opportunity to share their name and their affiliation or a group that they might be representing or be a part of. Just say your name, how you’re affiliated with the Omni Commons and then pass it on to the person to your right
- WORKING GROUPS REPORT BACKS is a time set aside for working groups to make brief announcements about any relevant information they feel they should tell the general meeting participants. It might include changes of dates/times of their meetings, major changes they’re making, project they’re working on, calls for help, etc.
- PROPOSALS are always written out on the pad and must be submitted the Saturday before the next Thursday general meeting. They should be organized first, according to level of importance and, secondly, according to the date which they were put on the pad, which should be written next to them
- Look through the proposals, see which one’s are old, which one’s might be easy to reach consensus on so we can get them out of the way quickly, and so on and do your best to organize them to help the meeting be effective
- If you’re unsure of how to organize the proposals it’s great to just quickly identify each proposal for the meeting to hear individuals opinions about how we might organize them for this meeting
That’s it! Those are all of the elements of the agenda as they are at the writing of this document and how they’re used. Please edit this information as you see fit!