How to avoid Bad Meetings & hold a Conversations about Anarchism - WSM training report back

WSM recently held our first Facilitation and 'Conversations about Anarchism' training day in Dublin. The photo shows the problems attendees had already encountered in meetings they had participated in. How many of them have you come across?


The purpose of the training was to give people the basics of facilitation that can avoid or at least minimise these problems.
At the end of the training all the 11 people who had taken part were very positive about it. One said “It was good to meet new people, I learned a lot about facilitation and would now be more confident now, I also learned about anarchist process” while another said “It was very comprehensive with detailed techniques about how to facilitate.” Everyone said they would be interested in future trainings.

Our goals for the day were
1. Everyone feels able to set up and facilitate a Conversations about Anarchism and gets a little practise so they leave with enough confidence to initiate one.
2. We have useful learning of the set up and facilitation for more complex meetings, in particular organisational meetings where time pressures and different experiences and agendas make things more fraught.
3. We’ve answered some of the questions people have about anarchism & WSM in a manner that allows people to practise some of the facilitation skills we have been learning about.
4. We’ve learned some of the methods that make meetings productive and ensure people leave them feeling included in the decisions made.

The agenda broke down as below
Introductions, hopes & goals for the day
Bad meeting experiences
Not all meetings are the same
Micro politics and who speaks at meetings
Conversations about Facilitation - 5 Qs
Conversations about Advanced Facilitation / Questions about Anarchism Discussion Groups
Planning some Conversations about Anarchism
Anarchist Gathering 2015
Group report back
Closing circle

We will be repeating this training in the near future in Dublin and Belfast. Places are limited to 6 people per trainer so we only advertise these to email contacts. If you’d be interested in taking part make sure you are registered in our email contact system  and that you have checked ‘Organising protests & events’

If you are already registered now may be a good time to review what you have told us you are interested in as we will only email you on those topics. 

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter ) (I organised this training)


i could not find this posting

i could not find this posting on your facebook. I am part of an @ co-op in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. Are you aware of anyone that could conduct this training that is somewhat local to me? There are @ in Kansas City, Missouri as well that I'm sure would be interested in attending the training.

I have certain skills that others do not (as do they against me), and one is regarding organization and mediation of meetings/conversations. We have been effective thus far, but I worry that I will gradually engender a quasi-leadership role as an unavoidable outcome of mediating our collective discussions. likewise, I am hesitant to propose a rotating mediator role in fear that our meetings will become unfocused and/or ineffective, which will create a power vacuum in order to correct, thus making the leadership role more apparent (and possibly even necessary). I have considered proposing the rotating role, with the addendum that suggestions or edits be proposed after reading the minutes of the meeting, etc., but that still opens the possibility of that quasi-heirarchy developing if I (or whoever else, of course) consistently put forth the most relevant critiques or edits or whatever. and likewise the antagonism that comes with 1 person always correcting everyone.

anyway, please read this charitably, my concerns are sincere and from a total dedication to @ principles.


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