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Planning Meetings

Jette Blair
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
From: LEAVEN, November-December 1992, p. 88

If you are working with a Leader Applicant, consider planning meetings. This “extra ” meeting, held a few days before your Series Meeting, can be extremely valuable, both to you and to the Applicant.

This is how planning meetings work in my Group. The Applicant has had the LEADER ’S HANDBOOK for about a month and is familiar with the sections pertaining to the coming Series Meeting; she leads the discussion at the planning meeting (all Group Leaders and Applicants take part). We explore the meeting guide, discuss what approach we will take, and decide on wording for our initial questions. We also might consider visual aids and how to encourage nutritious snacks. Sometimes, when we talk over how to handle certain questions, we digress to a discussion of the specifics of guiding meetings or of telephone helping, or we share ideas about organizing information so it is readily available.

After this, it takes me very little time to plan my meeting in its final version and I arrive at the Series Meeting relaxed. The Leader Applicant knows what to expect from the meeting and can help me stay on the topic. I also find that Applicants participate more effectively following a planning meeting. At the next Evaluation Meeting, I ask the Applicant who led the planning meeting to be responsible for the Evaluation Form.

When I was a new Leader, my co-Leader was about to move away and I found myself with an Applicant. I contacted the Leader Accreditation Department and it was suggested that I might try having planning meetings to help manage our time better. I have looked forward to these meetings ever since. Even if you are working with one Applicant, consider planning meetings. You will benefit from her fresh ideas and the Leader Applicant will feel more prepared for her work as a new Leader.

This article was originally published in Canadian Collage; adapted with permission.
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