Best of Communities: IV. Good Meetings

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IV. Good Meetings

Much of a community’s culture is showcased in meetings—the arena in which the most important decisions are made. In cooperative groups you can tell a lot about a group by observing a meeting.

Community meetings tend to be a much more complex animal than business meetings in the mainstream culture because you are expected to work constructively with the energy in the room, not just the ideas. Savvy groups understand that you need to offer a variety of ways to engage (because no one format works best for all or in all situations) and ways to access emotional and intuitive wisdom as well as rational insight. Humans bring a menagerie of personalities and preferences to the table and it’s an art learning how to make the most of it.

In this bundle we’ve collected 21 of our best nuggets about Good Meetings, carefully extracted from the rich vein of community meeting (l)ore.

This issue includes:

1. Community Meetings: Getting Off to a Good Start by Tree Bressen, #105
2. Agenda Planning:The Experienced Communitarian’s Technique for Making Meetings Flow by Tree Bressen, #113
3. Facilitating in an Altered State: Trusting the Magic Laird Schaub, #128
4. When Meetings Aren’t Just One Big Circle by Tree Bressen, #127

5. Moderating the Vocal, Encouraging the Shy: Workable Ways to Equalize Participation in Meetings by Tree Bressen, #111
6. False Meeting Economy: Learning When It’s a Bad Bargain to Go Fast by Laird Schaub, #110
7. Second Helpings: When to Talk and When to Walk by Laird Schaub, #129
8. Send it to Committees by Tree Bressen, #121
9. Nine Ways to Develop Trust in Committees in Small Groups by Sharon Villine, #119
10. Pulling Proposals out of a Hat (or Some Orifice) by Laird Schaub, #140
11. Poor Minutes Lead to Wasted Hours: Keys to Effective Notetaking by Laird Schaub, #129
12. Who Says I Can’t Participate? Issues of Inclusion and Exclusion in Ecovillages by Beatrice Briggs, #114
13. It Works for Us! by Kat Kinkade, #109
14. When People Miss Meetings by Rob Sandelin, #109
15. Things you (as a participant) can do to improve meetings by Paul Delapa and Betty Didcoct, #109
16. Working with Difficult Behaviors in Meetings by Rob Sandelin, #104

17. What Do You Do When …? by Beatrice Briggs, Tree Bressen, Laird Schaub, #129
18. What to Say if Someone Questions the Value of Process by Laird Schaub, Beatrice Briggs, Tree Bressen, #132
19. Business and Well-Being by Tree Bressen, Laird Schaub, Beatrice Briggs, Caroline Estes, #140
20. Best Meetings by Tree Bressen, Beatrice Briggs, Laird Schaub, #141
21. Group Works: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings by Chris Roth, #156