Meeting Practices

Pattern 8.1: Rounds

A group facilitation technique to maintain equivalence.

  • go around the circle giving everyone the chance to speak
  • begin each round with a different person, and change direction (clockwise or ccw) to bring variation to who speaks first and last, and to the order of people’s contributions.

Experienced groups might sometimes choose to fast-track certain rounds in S3 group processes.

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.

Responsibilities Of A Meeting Host

  • 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 are related to governing a domain and require attention.

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

Read next: Organizing Work

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