Facilitator Hints and Techniques

  • For Party meetings, the chairs or heads of committees or units, are not obligated to be the facilitator at any given meeting. Chairs or heads of committees or units, are encouraged to have others facilitate and co-facilitate meetings in order for others to gain the skills of meeting facilitation.
  • In Green Rules, motions and amendements to motions do not need a seconder, may be introduced by the facilitator or co-facilitator, and can only be accepted as being before the meeting if a majority of voting members present agree. In fact, all decisions within the decision making procedure of Green Rules are determined by the "will of the group" -- what the majority of the voting members present want. That is, for the meeting to proceed smoothly and efficiently, for decisions within the decision making procedure the facilitator may proceed where the will of the group is obvious. But, where that will is not obvious (or has been disputed by one or more voting participants) a formal poll, that could be two or more options on how to proceed, should be conducted amoung voting members present.
  • Examples of decisions that occur within the decision making procedure are, deciding how long speakers may speak, deciding to "close the speakers list", deciding when to call for agreement, deciding to move to a vote (in the event that agreement is not reached), deciding to take some other course of action (depending on the sense of the situation), etc.
  • During a person's turn to speak, facilitators should allow others to answer questions as part of that person's turn. When those questions are answered, return to the questioner's turn.
  • Anticipating that some meeting participants may have strong views on parts of motions where other participates disagree with those views, to proceed in an orderly fashion it is suggested that facilitators within Green Rules:
    1. Steer the meeting into treating those objections as amendments to a main motion, where the meeting can then be polled to determine if each amendment to the main motion is acceptable to the meeting or not (what the "will or the group" is).
    2. If one or more participants speak strongly against the main motion when agreement is tested, ask them if they are prepared to stand aside with the option of having their name and reasons recorded in the minutes for future reference on why they stood aside.
    3. If the meeting gets one of more firm objections where they have already gone though (a) and (b) above, proceed to a vote on either accepting the main motion or sending it back for more work (again, depending on the "will of the group").

    For more information, see Section III PROCEDURE of the Green Party Rules of Procedure.

  • Meetings taking too long? Use email and the phone to talk to participants before the meeting starts. Provide needed background information and try to reach agreement on as much of the meeting's business as possible before the meeting starts.
  • Green Rules allow alternative decision making procedures for specialized tasks, sessions, or units. Elections, and the Bonser Method, are two such alternative decision making procedures. For more information, see Section XI PROCEDURAL ITEMS NOT COVERED BY THESE PROCEDURES and part (j) in Section V FACILITATION of the Green Party Rules of Procedure.
  • Resolution vs. motion: "Resolutions" are what is typically adopted at meetings, i.e. "the assembly resolved to ...". "Motions" are what is submitted and deliberated at meetings (before they are adopted and become resolutions).