One Community Weekly Team Call
For all Pioneers, One Community hosts a weekly team call that incorporates many of the consensus meeting skills we have learned through our consensus trainings. This page is purposed to open source share the format that we use for these calls and consider foundational to our organization. They allow us to:
- Report on what each individual did in the prior week
- Report on the progress made within each of the Project Teams
- Discuss as a group any new issues of importance or interest
- Enjoy a little group social time and sharing for those that desire to stay after the formal call
Note: We host our calls through two different free services: Free Conference Calling.com and Free Conference USA.com. All you need is an email address and you will get an individualized number, code, and host code to host calls for up to 1,000 callers at a time with access to a huge variety of free services including recording calls, an online call manager, and tons more.
WELCOME TEAMS ● PROJECT TEAMS ● POLICIES & PROCEDURES
BASIC CALL FORMAT
Here is the format we suggest for facilitating these calls:
- Be on the call 2-3 minutes early to welcome everyone. Also go to FreeConferenceUSA.com to log in and then go to the “Manage Calls” tab so you can see everyone on the call.
- When ready, start a recording by hitting 5* on your phone.
- Remind everyone that anyone who wants to be a call facilitator can join the list of facilitators and that you as a facilitator welcome any feedback that might help you improve in your facilitation role.
- Perform roll call – who’s on the call?
- Share a “moment of Zen” (sustainability or other positive global event article and summary) and/or ask if anyone would like to lead a centering (deep breaths, oms, visioning, etc.). Give 30 seconds of silence for a response/volunteer. If no one volunteers, proceed to step #6.
- Open the space for anyone to “release anything they desire into the Light” – holding space in silence for anyone who desires to share anything that is going on for them. This silence is 60 seconds of space that anyone can add to and is purposed for sharing only; no feedback. Each time anyone speaks, the 60 seconds starts over to assure that space remains for the next person who may be thinking to speak.
- Remind people that it is helpful if people are on the collaborative Action Items Google Doc.
- Ask if anyone present on the call needs to leave early and if so, ask them to go first in reporting in.
- Ask for and share any important announcements.
- Ask each individual to report in on their action items for the previous week and set action items for the upcoming week.
- Ask if anyone has anything else and then wrap up by giving 60 seconds of silence for everyone to reflect on whether or not there is anything else that they’d like to bring up. At the end of the 60 seconds, close by asking each person if anything remains or if they are “complete?” People that are “complete” indicate that they are by saying “I’m complete.” If everyone is complete, then the formal call ends. If someone has something they still wish to discuss, then it is discussed.
- Once the formal call is done, announce any “parking lot” items (see below) and ask again if anyone has time limitations and/or wants or needs to leave the call.
- Address all parking lot items in the order of importance based on who is staying for specific discussions and repeat step #11 when done.
- At the successful completion of Step 13, we have social time for everyone that wants to stay on the call.
- Stop the call recording with 5*.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR CALL FACILITATORS
Everyone on a call is considered part of the call facilitation process and shares the following responsibilities with the call Facilitator:
- Keep the call flowing. If there are silences, get things rolling again. If things get off track, call “efficiency!” and suggest putting them in the “Parking Lot” for discussion at the end of the call.
- If for some reason a debate ensues:
- Monitor the use of conscious communication and request ownership language whenever it seems beneficial
- Limit people to 3 minutes of talking each and call on people as needed so everyone’s input is included
- In the event of a very energetic discussion/debate, suggest a full 5 seconds pause after people are done to support “full hearing” and be willing to call for a new centering or pause at any time it feels needed
TIME-SAVING APPROACH FOR LARGE GROUPS
- Limit all action item reporting to 3 minutes and place anything over 3 minutes into the “Parking Lot” for discussion after the formal call.
- For very large groups, ask any present Project Team Facilitators for a summary of their team’s progress versus individual check-ins.
CALL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Team calls are foundational to the effective functioning of our organization. Per the One Community Hands-Off Administrative Policy, the following guidelines have been established for the Weekly Team Calls, Welcome Team Calls, and Project Team Calls:
Attendees are expected to join all calls punctually at their starting time and remain on the call for the full duration. However, when an emergency or unexpected event may arise, to be counted as “in attendance” and avoid a blue square (see the Policies and Procedures) for Welcome Team and Weekly Team calls, the following must be met (Project Team calls are arranged with the Project Team leader):
- A person must join the call no later than 30 minutes after it has begun.
- A person must be on the call for a minimum of 30 minutes, or until the call ends in the case that the call ends less than 30 minutes from when the person joined.
In these situations, a person is expected to email the team if at all possible, and include in their email the time they expect to join the call so that everyone knows when to expect them and to minimize disruption to the team. (See also the Communication page.)
FREQUENTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Q: What is the purpose of the “releasing into the Light” section?
Releasing anything “into the Light” is a technique learned in our consensus trainings. Its purpose is to give anyone who wants it a forum to state whatever is on their mind in a public space without the need or expectation of a response. This could be a quick personal announcement, something personal they are going through, something they want everyone else to know, etc. In speaking whatever it is that people wish to say, the intent is that it is acknowledged (silently) by the team and “released” by the individual so that everyone can then be more present and focused on the call itself.
Q: What does it mean when you ask the question: “Are we all “complete,” does anyone have anything else they’d like to say or add?”
This is a question we ask at the end of every weekly team call or other collaborative call and at the end of every discussion of any significance. We initiate this question with a full 60 seconds of silence where people are asked to “check in and see if they are complete.” If during this time someone has something they wish to add, then the discussion resumes until complete again, and then we re-start the 60 seconds. If 60 seconds passes without anyone having anything to add, then the call facilitator asks each individual if they are complete. Once everyone says they are complete, that call or topic is concluded. We do this to make sure every voice and idea is included and nobody is ever left feeling they still had something to add.