Facilitation Observation Analysis: Coronado BCD Staff Meeting

The Coronado Hall BCD staff met on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 7pm. This meetings objective was to address certain issues, give reminders, discuss events and progress, determine duty hours, and deal with other forms of business while encouraging our staff and working toward the goal of bettering ourselves and the lives of our residents. The meeting was a productive meeting, although it did have some areas where it could improve as far as its overall facilitation went. Meeting environment/space, facilitation preparation, organization, inclusivity and empowerment of members, ability to address arising conflict, engaging the disengaged, shared vision, community development, and meeting closure are all factors that can either make or break an effective meeting.

The meeting was held in the Coronado lobby in the couch/lounge area. This environment was a fairly effective environment which allowed the participants to relax and enjoy each other’s company while accomplishing agenda tasks. The fact that the meeting was held in the lounge area did have some down sides to it. There are no hard surfaces or any white boards for writing which may have been of some use, but the meeting still went just fine without them. In other instances that may have required more planning during the meeting, another area may be more effective. The goals of the meeting were fully accomplished in the environment of the BCD lobby lounge.

In order to prepare for the meeting, our RD Alex planned out the meeting by writing up an agenda for each of us to have. We all came prepared with a writing utensil as well as something to write on. In the past some participants have come to the meeting unprepared which has made it difficult to be productive within the meeting.

The meeting was organized into 3 different topics: Standing Items, Announcements, and Discussion Items. We began with standing items which included the participants sharing the good, the bad and the funny of their week, maintenance and work orders, and addressing the start of in-service. Having each of us share about our week serves as a bit of an ice-breaker which is definitely a great way to start any meeting.

We moved on to announcements which included items such as weekly reports, training evaluations, and other orders of business. The organization of going from an opening ice-breaker to the announcements fit well as it allowed us to relax a bit and be informed of what is going on, and then move on to our discussion.

We ended with our discussion items, which included topics such as holiday duty, duty schedule, hall council, etc. This took the bulk of our meeting.  After we dealt with discussing for future duty and plans, we then discussed how each of our events went. The meeting closed with RA Shout Outs and a reminder of who has their One-On-One this week. Alex followed the agenda and went through each point of discussion as it stated. The meeting had an effective outline as far as its order, and was well organized with the use of the agenda and Alex’s ability to carry it out.

During our meeting, we had some conflict arise. One of our participants was around fifteen minutes late to the meeting. Alex calmly addressed the whole group and stated the importance of being on time. An issue that comes up quite frequently within our meetings is the issue of time management. Our staff is very friendly and talkative, but the excessive chatting prevents us from using our time wisely and moving forward with the agenda. Alex occasionally addressed the issue while we were trying to get through the agenda. At the end of the meeting, he addressed the conflict and stated the importance of us staying on topic. The way that Alex addresses conflict allows us as participants to see the value in our time, identify the issue and gain a desire to fix it.

We have nine total staff members as well as our RD which makes for a total of ten members participating in our meeting. Ten is a fairly small number, but any meeting can have room for members to disengage. When discussing, Alex went from person to person to make sure he had heard from most everyone. Sometimes not everyone had something to say, but in things that were of high importance, Alex made sure he heard from everyone before moving forward or making a decision. As I brought up before, our team would have irrelevant conversations throughout the meeting. This was a way of us disengaging from the meetings real purpose and Alex solved it by reminding us of our goals and purpose.

As a staff, we all have a shared vision. During our meetings, we all have a shared objective in mind. The meeting was in place to address certain issues, give reminders, discuss events and progress, determine duty hours, and deal with other forms of business while encourage our staff and work toward the goal of bettering ourselves and the lives of our residents. In accomplishing our objective we run into conflict which can affect our ability to have an effective meeting, but due to our shared overall vision, we are able to overcome conflict and make the effort to push through our meetings successfully.

As RA’s, we have a lot of responsibility and as well as several events and matters to attend to, and so during our meetings it makes it somewhat difficult to work on getting closer as a community. Most of our community is formed during hall events, while we are on duty and outside of work. By doing the ice-breaker at the beginning of the meeting, we are able to help encourage and support one another by listening to the highlights of their week. Of course we are very talkative, and so that is a form of community bonding, but over time we will need to focus more strictly on the agenda. The way we handle discussions in our meetings is an opportunity in itself to build our community. People have soccer games and events planned on certain days, and so when we are working out our duty schedule we sometimes bend over back for another fellow staff member. At our meeting we had to figure out our holiday duty schedule which was difficult due to people’s wants and vacation plans, but we tried our best to work it out so we were being fair and kind to each other. We also build community by our shout outs to one another. The way we treat each other and listen to one another, even just in a meeting, speaks largely.

The meeting closed with Alex stating RA shout outs and a few brief reminders. The shout outs are encouraging and a way that we are able to positively end the meeting. The reminders are those that are indicative to this week and so it helped that Alex reiterated them to finish.

The meeting had a solid objective, an agenda, and a commitment to involving the meeting participants in the planning, preparation, and execution of the meeting, but of course there is still room for improvement regarding future meetings.