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Partnerships and Building Relationships / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management / Sustainability

Not Your Mother’s Meeting (PT 2)

Welcome back to Part 2 of Not Your Mother’s Meeting!  If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up!  Breakfast Club Blogger @jillgordon provides excellent inclusionary meeting ideas in order to create more participation and engagement for your staff. Enjoy!

Make the Meeting Participatory

Gain greater participation by posing three questions or next steps to the meeting participants.  For small group discussions, try using small dry erase boards to generate ideas and questions.  They are extremely reasonable in price and better for the environment!  Another great way to get folks on their feet and brainstorming is using a “Gallery Walk.”  Place your questions or discussion points on flipchart paper around the room, invite folks to use post-it notes or write directly on the paper with their ideas, playing music while they rotate in the room.  This brings out the wisdom of the room while providing lots of ideas quickly.  You can also use small colored dots to have the group vote on their favorite ideas in a second round.  Walking meetings are also a great way to get people moving while brainstorming ideas, here’s a great blog by Beth Cantor on the topic. These types of meeting often work best with smaller groups and help to get the creative juices flowing through movement.


Maybe you cringed a bit when you read the word “energizers.”  We have all been involved in uncomfortable team-building activities and icebreakers.  The key is to get people moving, engaging with each other, and placing energizers in the middle of meetings when energy might be getting low.  Knowing your audience is crucial, an energizer like the “human knot” may work for a group of teenagers that know each other well but is not going to be suitable for business professionals.  Keep your energizers close to the comfort level of the group and be sensitive to sensory needs, personal space, and germophobes!  Keep a list of energizers on-hand that have little to no set-up and require few items.  A simple wrap-up energizer is “Wad War,” have your meeting participants write down three take away ideas from the meeting and wad the paper up then toss around the room.  Have each person grab a paper from the floor and read through the comments. This energizer works well with other questions and to share out at the end of a conference, retreat, or long brainstorming session.

I hope you’ve walked away with fresh ideas and new approaches for your next meeting.  Keep it participatory, set-up expectations and goals at the beginning, and get folks moving and discussing!

For breakfast I had: Siggi’s Yogurt, coffee with almond milk, and eggs with veggies, again. 

Author: @jillgordon

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