Meetings

“Hey, my name is Ted and I teach facilitation. Good meetings are core and center because skilled facilitators can help the group be equals and move forward. Being heard and understood matters and creates a healthy and safe team culture.”

Sociocratic Meetings:
Clear, Efficient, Personal

Opening round

ca. 5 min

Check-in round. Everyone shares how they are entering the meeting

(A good chance for people to get to know you better!)

https://youtu.be/KNxbBlSlMMY

ADMIN

ca. 1 min

Making sure the circle is ready for the meeting:

  • Attendance (Who is here/absent? Roles filled?)
  • Duration (How long is this meeting?)
  • Minutes (Last meeting’s minutes ok?)
  • Info (any announcements outside of the circle’s domain?)
  • Next meeting (When are we meeting next? Or, who schedules?)

https://youtu.be/g5mHuSNvFQE

Consent to the agenda

ca. 1 min

  • Understand the agenda proposal
  • (Asking for reactions/additions if desired)
  • Consent/integrate objections to the agenda proposal
https://youtu.be/ansK0AubQzE

Agenda items

All agenda items, falling into one of the below categories

 

  • Reports → 
    e.g. reports from sub-circle or parent circle, reports on metrics
  • Explorations →
    e.g giving feedback, brainstorming, generating proposals
  • Decisions ↓
    e.g. policy decisions, selections processes, possibly significant operational decisions, policy reviews
https://youtu.be/V4sRB-ycEOY
https://youtu.be/PHNxPvJ2DhM

(examples)

https://youtu.be/NGSGslp8EiM
https://youtu.be/ETrAM0yQmYI

Update backlog

ca. 2 min

What needs to be added to the backlog for future meetings?
https://youtu.be/DIlnbl3Az7w

Check-out

ca. 5 min

Meeting evaluation, e.g. with regard to

  • content of the meeting
  • interpersonal dynamics
  • process
https://youtu.be/_E0yHEJ-JgM

Facilitation sheet!

A sheet for facilitators – everything on one page! 
Want to translate it? Contact ted@sociocracyforall.org for an editable version. 

Meeting Posters

These posters are useful for meeting rooms to remember the basic patterns of Sociocratic meetings.
The transparency of a visible poster creates shared understanding and accountability to an agreed-upon format.

The resolution for these posters is right for printing on A4 (or letter) or slightly bigger.
If you’d like to print very large, use high resolution posters.
Oh, and you can say thank you with a little donation.  

Facilitation classes online!

Online facilitation classes on a regular basis.

You can also book a facilitation class exclusively for your organization (online or in person).

Integrating objections

1. Understand

2. Explore

3. Synthesize

Ask the objector to state the objection
Allow for clarifying questions

 

Reaction round(s):
How do you relate to the objection?
Do you have ideas for amendments?

Possible strategies:

  1. modify the proposal
  2. shorten the term
  3. measure the concern (more info)

 

Synthesize amendments into the proposal
and go back to consent round

Featured Resources on Meeting Facilitation

Meeting clip: consent process
A consent process with an objection that gets resolved.
Read more.
Making of the agenda: past, present and future of the circle
Preparing the agenda with all aspects of the circle. Diagram from the handbook Many Voices One Song.
Read more.
Meeting clip: ADMIN phase
A quick checklist to make sure the circle is ready to start a meeting
Read more.
Getting to consent
A presentation about what consent decision making is, how to get there and what to do if there is no
Read more.
Meeting clip: circle report
Example of a quick report to a circle from its parent circle
Read more.
Meeting clip: writing a proposal
Picture forming and proposal shaping and - almost - towards a decision. Also shows how to formally postpone a decision.
Read more.
Cartoon figure
Selection process
Sociocratic selections (aka elections) are a great way to be intentional about who does what in your organization. Bonus: they
Read more.
On rounds
Using rounds helps giving everyone a voice without losing track of time. This article is a celebration of rounds!
Read more.
Meeting clip: updating the backlog
Example of how to give the backlog a quick update to capture new information before closing the meeting
Read more.
Drawing — building blocks for generating policy
Participatory proposal writing
Picture forming, proposal shaping and synthesis - a 3-step process to turn everyone's ideas into a good proposal!
Read more.
How to make a an agenda and a minutes sheet
Screencast on our agenda and meeting minutes format and how to use it.
Read more.
Meeting clip: consent to agenda
Consenting to the agenda of a meeting before launching into the meeting
Read more.
Consent decision making
Making decisions by consent - step by step! Everything is clear, everyone has a chance to get on board.
Read more.
Rounds – different kinds
Different kinds of rounds.
Read more.
Idea montage —
The liberating effect of “good enough”
"Good enough" sounds like a low-level decision-making method. And yet, for some people, that's not how they experience it. "Only"
Read more.
Infographic — meeting format
The sociocratic meeting format
The sociocratic meeting format
Read more.
Meeting clip: meeting evaluation
Example of a meeting evaluation: worked well, what could be improved?
Read more.
How to make a proposal in sociocracy
Picture forming and proposal shaping in an example
Read more.
A full meeting clip!
An entire meeting including opening round, ADMIN, consent to agenda, several consent decisions, picture forming and picture forming, an election,
Read more.
Meeting clip: opening round
An example of an opening round - personal and sweet
Read more.
A facilitator’s guide to keeping meetings on track
Stop overthinking. Start doing. Improve from there.
Read more.
Keeping meetings short
Long meetings are a pain. Let’s make them shorter. Here are the tools that sociocracy has to offer.
Read more.