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Monday, March 19, 2012

Democratic Meetings

Here are a few hints on how to create and carry out effective democratic meetings

An effective democratic meeting:
~ must be of, by, and for its participants. It should be as free as possible from the influence of outside powers.
~ ought to be held in a safe place. An important attribute of a safe place is that i provide space which is neutral.
~ ought to be designed and redesigned to meet the needs of the participants
~ may be best when participants first listen well to members with the best dialogue skills and appropriate specialized knowledge
~ has leadership roles and/or officership roles that are kept to a minimum and are widely shared.
~ at the very beginning there ought to be teaching and study time to learn and practice dialogue skills, methods, and techniques; and  also time given to the learning of the vocabulary of the business at hand.

Important notions to consider keeping in mind during the first meetings include:
` address all comments to the group as a whole rather than to an individual,
~ practice respectful good manners,
~ avoid judgmental statements or comments; there are no good or bad opinions, values or statements,
~ listening and understanding are your main purpose,
~ accept that other believe to be true that which they say; they intend to be honest
` speak from your own experience,
~ respect the goodness and equality of each participant.

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