Tips for Meeting Facilitation
- Begin the meeting on time!
- Identify a facilitator, note-taker, time-keeper and stack-taker for the meeting. Request a co-facilitator if desired.
- Facilitator explains community agreements for meetings:
- Time limits for meeting and agenda items
- Tools for communication including hand signals and an explanation of stack
- Explanation of the decision-making process
- Time limits on individual comments
- No personal attacks or interruptions
- Start the meeting with a introductory go-round and icebreaker
- Identify one thing that went well and one challenge from the week.
- Compile an agenda and sort agenda items in order of priority.
- Allow time for discussion of each agenda item; with the consent of the group determine whether:
- More time should be allotted for discussion
- A vote can be taken
- Item should be tabled for future discussion / additional deliberation
- At the one hour mark, check in to see if the group needs to take a break.
If you run into trouble, here are some things that may be helpful to consider:
- Ask questions to initiate discussion, as opposed to jumping directly into concerns.
- When people are voicing concerns, ask them what can be done to meet their concern.
- Listen for agreement and note it, no matter how small. This both builds moral and helps clarify where the group is at.
- Reflect back what you're hearing. Practice synthesizing and summarizing.
- Break big decisions into smaller pieces.
8* Don't allow back and forths between two participants to dominate a discussion or agenda item: ask for input from others.
[credit: Thanks to Aorta Collective http://aortacollective.org/ from whom we poached several of these ideas! ]