Here’s a sampling of what people are saying about Positive and Productive Meetings.
PPM on Jury Duty
“I have just returned from a week’s jury duty on a criminal case. During the deliberation stage, the meeting was going nowhere so I volunteered to provide some structure using techniques from Positive and Productive Meetings. I had the court guy bring in butcher’s paper, coloured textas (markers), post-it notes, blu-tac etc. We used a meeting map to define our purpose (and redefined it many times as we struggled with our role), assigned roles for each person, including a timekeeper which worked really well. We used rounds, rounds and more rounds, which helped encourage everyone to talk, and to also help those who weren’t such good listeners to stop themselves talking over other people. We used What’s Working and What’s Not Working as a team in making decisions. Butcher’s paper and post-it note exercises helped make the evidence from the case clearer and helped us to resort the information.
Thank goodness I had a few tools up my sleeve or I think we might still be deliberating! So, it even works in juries. I love it and want to learn more!â€
Wendy, Melbourne, Australia
“I just went to a fabulous meeting a couple of nights ago. They hired a facilitator from Positive and Productive Meetings and I was so impressed. He used a technique called “graphic recording” which I think would be a useful skill for us.”
A board member of a non-profit food cooperative in North Carolina
Going an Extra Round
After training in Positive and Productive Meetings, Brett went back to his team full of enthusiasm to use the tools. He was also a little apprehensive about introducing these new approaches to his meetings and wasn’t quite sure where to start. He decided to begin by introducing rounds to give a more positive feel to their time together. He had an agenda before him, with both opening and closing rounds written upon it.
The opening round went well, with staff hearing about positive things that were happening at home and work in the team members’ lives. It set a great tone for the meeting. Brett was determined to finish the meeting on time, and being pleased with the opening round, decided he shouldn’t push his luck, so figured he’d skip the closing round this time. He started to say “Well, that’s about it,” when the staff member sitting next him protested, saying “No, not yet, we haven’t done the closing round, we have to end on a positive note.”
Back From the Brink
“The project we were working on felt like a failure, nothing seemed to progress, the team argued passionately over trivial things, each meeting ended without consensus or action. We left each meeting with growing animosity, headaches and a strong reluctance to return. Even when we weren’t arguing, an aura of past conflict shrouded the group in negativity.
I had also discovered an article about Positive and Productive Meetings a meeting structure developed by Helen Sanderson Associates, based on Nancy Kline’s work. I knew it would take some courage to introduce these principles to our meetings, but decided that without change our dwindling membership and complete lack of progress would soon see the entire project fold.
Although the group continue to work on very difficult issues, there is now a definite warmth within meetings, the group are more focussed, and I actually look forward to going. We don’t use all elements of Positive and Productive Meetings, but the group are now open to trying any new tool or approach in order to be more effective.”
Read the full story from this team member in London.
The Four P’s
We had a great half day meeting today with our team who were very receptive and hardworking in looking at incorporating the 4 P’s into our meetings (Purpose, People, Process, Progress). We practiced timed talk, rounds, rotating roles, hospitality (everyone likes that one!) and used a new agenda style. I was really impressed with the work everyone did.
Add your Success Story by writing kerry (at) helensandersonassociates (dot) co (dot) uk.