Meeting Practices

Pattern 8.1: Rounds

A group facilitation technique to maintain equivalence.

  1. Pick a random person to start
    • begin each round with a different person to maintain equivalence
  2. Go around the circle giving everyone the chance to speak

There are a number of ways that experienced groups can fast track certain rounds.

Pattern 8.2: Facilitate Meetings

Choose someone to facilitate a meeting. Even an inexperienced facilitator can help to focus a meeting and make a positive difference.

  • prepare an agenda of topics
  • select a facilitator who:
    • facilitates a suitable activity or format for each topic
    • holds the space, keeps the time and navigates the agenda during the meeting
    • facilitates an evaluation of the meeting at the end

Pattern 8.3: Evaluate Meetings

Take time for learning at the end of each meeting or workshop.
Reflect on interactions, celebrate successes and share suggestions for improvement.

  • before the closing round
  • reserve 5 minutes for 1 hour, and 15 minutes for a full-day workshop
  • record learning and review before the next meeting
  • short formats:
    • more of/less of/start/stop/keep
    • positive/critical/suggested improvements

Evaluate Meetings: Long Format

Ask everyone in a round to reflect on any or all of the following topics in a brief sharing:

  • effectiveness and format
  • facilitation and participation
  • emotional tone
  • appreciations and achievements (I liked…)
  • growing edges and improvement suggestions (I wish…)
  • wild ideas and radical suggestions (What if…)

Pattern 8.4: Meeting Host (Role)

The meeting host is accountable for preparation and follow-up of meetings, workshops or other events.

The role may be assigned temporarily (i.e. for one specific event) or for a duration of time.

Meeting Host: Responsibilities

  • preparation
    • identify goals and deliverables
    • prepare and distribute agenda and schedule
    • estimate required time
    • identify and invite participants
    • schedule the meeting/workshop
    • book location (and transportation if required)
    • set up the space, provide required materials and information
    • ensure selection of a facilitator and a notetaker to record minutes, if appropriate
  • follow-up
    • clean up location, return keys etc.
    • ensure minutes are distributed

Pattern 8.5: Governance Backlog

A governance backlog is a visible, prioritized list of items (drivers) that require (or may benefit from) a group decision.

  • decisions to make
  • proposals to create and consider
  • agreements for review
  • selecting people for roles
  • upcoming effectiveness reviews

Read next: Organizing Work (or back to Focused Interactions)


©2017 by Bernhard Bockelbrink and James Priest. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0