Created July 2016 for the National Worker Cooperative Conference convened by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute.
Inefficient and ineffective meetings can leave people feeling drained, exhausted or discouraged, rather than inspired and energized. Good meetings help build strong, effective organizations and successful projects. Even organizations with great meeting process inadvertently perpetuate barriers to full member participation and access to democratic process. This happens through group dynamics of power, privilege and oppression that often marginalize women, people of color, queer, trans and gender non-conforming folks, people with disabilities and those with limited access to the cultural cues and financial resources that come with class privilege.
Whether or not you tend to act as facilitator at meetings you attend, building your facilitation skills will help you make your meetings better, more inclusive, and more fully democratic! Here are some foundational tips and suggestions that can have big impacts on your meetings!
Some of the topics in this packet overlap with our Anti-Oppressive Facilitation Guide, but includes additional activities that can create space for individual reflection, deeper discussions, and alignment building.