Creating Resilient & Regenerative Mojave Desert Communities

Heart and Soul Info

 


Useful Meeting Templates


Business Meeting Agenda  (times are approximate!)

Location:

Facilitator:

Minute Taker:

Centering Exercise  (5 minutes)

Read our AIM  /  Read Norms and Reflect briefly on one  (5 minutes)

Check In (7 minutes)

Agenda Review (1 minute)

Treasurer’s report (2 minutes)

Apportion next 1.5 hours according to need between Old and New Business

Old Business:

  • Team Reports
  • Report on Action Items
  • Other Old Business

New Business:

Plan Next Meeting  (5 minutes)

Reflections on the meeting (5 minutes)


Development Meeting Agenda

Location:

Facilitator:

Minute Taker:

Centering Exercise  (5 minutes)

Read our AIM  /  Read Norms and Reflect briefly on one  (5 minutes)

Check In (7 minutes)

Agenda Review (1 minute)

Treasurer’s report (2 minutes)

Old Business: (10 minutes)

  • Team Reports
  • Report on Action Items (if needed)
  • Plan next meeting

Development Session  (1.5 hours)

  • Reflections

Minutes


Taking Minutes

Taking minutes at a meeting can be a simple process. Minutes cover specific items so that the group has a record of decisions made and actions taken.   They provide what is needed for the group to move forward and track progress. Minutes should be designed to make it easy for the facilitator to plan the next meeting.

Minutes are not a verbatim record of the meeting. There is no need to be descriptive when taking minutes: just the fact of what was proposed and voted on, what assignments were given out, who was in attendance and brief reports from committees are included. The only thing that must be recorded word for word is a proposal or an amendment to a proposal.

Discussion around a motion or a proposal is generally not included in the minutes. The proposal and whether it passed or was defeated is what is recorded. Motions that are withdrawn are not included in the minutes. Minutes are about what was done, not what was said at a meeting.

We recommend using a minutes’ template to remind us to record:

  • Date, location & names of those present
  • The name of the facilitator and minute taker
  • Approval of the previous meeting’s minutes
  • The treasurer’s report, including the name of the treasurer
  • Motions & decisions made
  • Project Group Reports (Brief: a detailed report can be turned in & filed with the minutes if necessary)
  • Action Items
  • The plan for the next meeting (date, location, facilitator)

If the minute taking process is clear & simple, the person who takes the minutes can be an active participant in the meeting. By using a template this job can be done by anyone.

During a meeting, the facilitator and others can and should help the minute taker record action items and get the wording of proposals correct.


Heart and Soul Minutes Template

H & S Minutes 10.3.16

Place:

Present:

Facilitator:

Minutes Taker:

Treasurer’s Report:

Team and Project Group Reports (Include name of group and reporting member.):

Old Business:

New Business:

Proposals and Decisions (Include name of person who made the proposal, if a decision was reached and how. Include dissents if member requests they go on record.):

Action Items:

Summary of Development Session (If this was a Development Meeting):

Reflections on the Meeting:

Next Meeting: (Include Date, Time, Place, and Facilitator)

 


Article:  Dealing With Difficult Behaviors

People come as they are to groups, bringing their talent, ideas and energy. They also bring all of their behaviors, good, bad and in between. This is a fact of life for facilitators. Difficult behaviors can undermine or even destroy a group when they are not dealt with.

There is an internal component to dealing with difficult people. Manage your own internal state and stay as centered as possible. Don’t take the behavior personally; this is habitual behavior and you are not causing it. Remember that anger feeds anger, and negativity feeds negativity, so do not follow the person there. Separate the person from the bad behavior; this person may have much to offer the group if this disruptive energy can be redirected. Remember, Everyone is someone’s difficult person.

There is also an external skill set that can be learned and practiced. Some examples of difficult behavior along with techniques to lessen the impact follow. (Excerpted from online information by Dee Kelsey & Pam Plumb and material from Creative Encounters, LLC.)

  • Dominating the Discussion: This person talks too often, too long, or too loud.
    • Stop the person, thank him/her and say you need to hear from someone else.
    • Break eye contact, stop giving him or her focused attention.
    • Refer to the agenda and time frames.
    • Summarize what the person has said and then move on.
    • Pre-assign a time frame for comments.
  • Talking off the Subject: This person regularly talks about unrelated things off topic.
    • Ask them to relate what they are saying to current agenda
    • Ask others if they have anything to add to what the person said.
    • Stop them. Tell them it’s not appropriate now and to bring it up under another part of the agenda.
  • Having Side Conversations: This person makes private comments to their neighbor.
    • Invite them to share what is being said.
    • Ask them to stop, because you are feeling distracted and you are guessing that others in the group might be also.
    • Ask them if they would please join the group.
    • Say, ‘Let’s have one conversation.’
  • Being Negative or Hostile:
    • Acknowledge their points of view.
    • Make a point of thoroughly paraphrasing their view. Stick to their wording.
    • Ask if there is any part of the work that they feel good about.
    • Ask for their opinions about what is needed.
  • Attacking, Judgmental Behavior:
    • Remind the group of the group norms to which they have agreed.
    • Stop any argument and ask the rest of the group for input.
    • Ask the person what the group could do to respond to their concerns.
    • Describe in a non-judgmental way, the specific behavior and ask if it is based on something that has occurred in the meeting.
    • Give the person feedback that is non-reactive, non-judgmental and is consistent with the aims of the group.
    • State the purpose of the meeting and your role and aim in facilitating it, and ask the person if they can support that without disruption. If not, ask them to leave.

Transition Heart-Mind-Circle Conference call comes highly recommended. The entire call with Starhawk is available on the TransitionUS website: 

http://transitionus.org/event/heart-mind-circle