Like many I’m sure, I’ve sat in my fair share of ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ meetings. Which for me looks like no agenda, no opportunity to hear all voices, many tangents, that go on for hours, with no clear outcomes, etc. I’m interested in other stories and how you might adapt a ‘corporate’ meeting structure to a ‘communitarian’ meeting. What are the points of difference to be aware of and what are the similarities for success you’ve come across?
Hello! You touch on a topic near and dear to my heart I’ve been a communitarian for over 30 years and about 10 years ago I did a deep dive into the question of human social power and how it relates to communication. This resulted in a body of work I published and now teach to mission-driven organizations including using it at the cooperative homestead community where I live.
Essentially, one of the places healthy power use can be activated and practiced is in meetings. This acts as a training place, a dojo if you like, where we build our capacity for sharing power, co-leading, and co-managing. It makes meetings not only much more efficient and effective but also an easier place to build relationships and connections as opposed to what often occurs (as you describe above) which results in fragmentation and frustration. The practices integrate some of the aspects of corporate meetings (like we report on what we’ve done since we last met and what we intend to do going forward) but are non-corporate in that they center on sharing power as opposed to hoarding power the way most corporations do.
I teach this work online through a worker coop called Round Sky Solutions (www.roundskysolutions.com) and I’m happy to chat further if you’d like.
Yes, I’m over here singing the themesong to the film, unashamedly.
But regarding the topic, I hope that if I’m able to help start a community or join an existing community that meetings will balance good time-keeping with listening to all voices.
So right now myself and cofounders (currently 6 or 7 of us altogether) are going to have our first real meeting in a week or two. I’ve been talking to them individually to see if we can work together compatibly (goals that fit together etc.) and one of them has said she’d like to have us all over and we’ll have dinner and bring foods and meet for the first time. I’m stoked, because it now feels real, and kind of scary, but maybe that’s good? I would like to facilitate the first meeting as I’m the one bringing us altogether to embark on this process. After that I imagine those of us who want to facilitate will take turns going forward. Hopefully it will be a good meeting and not a bad or ugly meeting haha. Call me rediculous, but I’m excited about all of these meetings that I hope will be in my future.