Volunteering to facilitate
Anyone can volunteer to facilitate if they feel comfortable with reading agenda items and encouraging people to keep meetings flowing in an inclusive, timely and excellent manner.
- Assistant Facilitators:* It is a good idea for more than 1 facilitator to volunteer so that the facilitator can hand it off if they wish to speak to an issue themselves at length.
- Don't facilitate while you advocate: Facilitators can still participate normally but if you plan on proposing or debating things you'll be better able to advocate freely without a conflict arising from being the facilitator. You can always request an assistant facilitator and delegate to them during a topic where you want to weigh in.
Introducing Agenda Items
- Facilitators read the main items in the agenda Meeting Notes Template and call for participants to speak to the details of the agenda items.
Facilitate inclusiveness by joining the speaking Queue
- Watch for people raising their hands in person and on Jitsi or Pad chat.
- Respond in the chat or aloud with their name saying they're on stack.
- Summarize the stack order periodically.
- Encourage people not to interrupt without just signaling or asking for direct response
- Elicit thoughts on topics before moving on to ensure people quieter or slower to respond get their thoughts heard.
Sometimes someone is addressed with a question or comment directly or wants to respond immediately before moving on for some reason.
- Generally they'll raise their hand or interject briefly to say "Direct response?" or "May I direct response?"
- Facilitators can clarify that they'll call on them them to speak out of the normal stack before returning to it.
The facilitator tries to help everyone get through all the agenda items within a reasonable time frame before people expire from exhaustion while ensuring that everyone has a chance to be heard. This doesn't mean that everyone can realistically take infinite time to be heard about each item.
- Encourage people to be brief during intros and announcements.
- Ask if people are ready or willing to move on if a topic has gone on longer than seems productive.
- You can usually frame facilitation requests to elicit willingness to get to the point or table things for later rather than to leave people feeling unheard.
Facilitators are stewards helping meeting participants with excellence, getting along, and conflict resolution if need be.
- Conflicts are more likely to arise during important discussions where stakes and feelings run high.
- Conflict Resolution during meetings is more challenging because of how many people are present, the desire to keep the meeting business on track, and the fact that one or both participants may have a lot riding on their continued participation in that meeting be it to resolve the matter that leads to conflict or to speak about unrelated matters.
- De-escalating steps towards getting along starting with excellence reminders, suggestions to redirect personal or offtopic discussions to non-meeting channels like guilds or mediation, followed by request to disengage if de-escalation is failing or in extreme cases AskedToLeave if requests are refused and things get completely out of hand.