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Unread 11-03-2003, 12:52 PM
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Exciting Meetings

How does everyone keep their meetings lively and interactive ... At my school the people on my team just sit there and listen and there are only a few who actually participate ... like we were trying to come up with fundraising ideas for money, but there were only about 5 or 6 of us (me included) out of the 20 who were actually participating ...

so basically: how do teams keep their meetings so that no one is bored and everyone participates and the meeting is still productive??
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Unread 11-03-2003, 01:15 PM
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We here at 25 have no problem whatsoever with trying to get people involved. The meetings are rather loosely structured, and thus, everyone is comfortable with speaking their mind. This is not to say, however, that we do not keep to a very specific agenda. We begin meetings with any news that might be relevant then by overviewing exactly what we need to get done on that particular day and in the upcoming weeks. After that part of the meeting is done, we break up into groups and attend to what needs attending to. On a normal meeting, we might do robot maintenence, train rookies, make Volcano Crew supplies, or organize the storage closet. Things run very smoothly, most of the time.
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Unread 11-03-2003, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aignam
We here at 25 have no problem whatsoever with trying to get people involved. The meetings are rather loosely structured, and thus, everyone is comfortable with speaking their mind. This is not to say, however, that we do not keep to a very specific agenda. We begin meetings with any news that might be relevant then by overviewing exactly what we need to get done on that particular day and in the upcoming weeks. After that part of the meeting is done, we break up into groups and attend to what needs attending to. On a normal meeting, we might do robot maintenence, train rookies, make Volcano Crew supplies, or organize the storage closet. Things run very smoothly, most of the time.
Run smoothly-Thanks- but are you at the same meetings I am?

Meetings for business are just that- for business. Entertaining? Each subgroup can submit some part to the agenda and usually they do. All should have a say and be heard. If members don't participate then are they really members? Their choice.


People's time is a very important commodity, use it wisely. Plan your meetings and make them count. Be thankful when people offer their time.


WC
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Last edited by Wayne C. : 11-03-2003 at 04:36 PM.
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Unread 11-03-2003, 04:48 PM
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Re: Exciting Meetings

Quote:
Originally posted by shyra1353
How does everyone keep their meetings lively and interactive ... At my school the people on my team just sit there and listen and there are only a few who actually participate ... like we were trying to come up with fundraising ideas for money, but there were only about 5 or 6 of us (me included) out of the 20 who were actually participating ...

so basically: how do teams keep their meetings so that no one is bored and everyone participates and the meeting is still productive??
I can't shut the kids up!
Everyone want to talk at the same time.
Usually an agenda is issued before the meeting and we ask everyone to give their 2 cents worth.
(it counts for who goes to the regional and championship)
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Unread 11-03-2003, 05:37 PM
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I would suggest splitting into smaller groups and discussing the issue then gathering together again to allow the group's to express their opinions. This way you can sort of allocate the active members into more autonomous settings to interact with the less active members. I know many less active members on our team are more active in our smaller groups than they are in team discussions.

Just a suggestion...I understand this might not work for all teams, but it's worth a shot
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Unread 11-03-2003, 05:51 PM
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While everyone on our team participates, our meetings are still boring. Well, mabey I'm spoiled a litte in the entertainment department, but still!
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Unread 11-03-2003, 07:36 PM
sanddrag sanddrag is offline
back to school ;-)
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It's like our members translate me saying "any ideas or coments?" into "be quite or die." Why the heck don't they talk?!?
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Unread 11-03-2003, 07:45 PM
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My typical position during our team meetings is asleep in our chairs, very comfortably. Our mentors have this tendancy to get into all of these technical engineering things, and I just conk. Since I'm not in the engineering group, I just have no clue. So I guess my response is that our mentors entertain our eng group, but that's about it.
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Unread 11-03-2003, 09:13 PM
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Having had to run many different kinds of meetings (ranging from robotics to political clubs to french club...the list goes on ) here's some of my tips:

1. Divide and Conquer: It's been said before, and for good reason! People are less likely to be intimidated in a small group and once participation fosters in a small environment, they are more prone to speak in a larger group.

2. Mix it up: After so many minutes, switch it up so people aren't in their cliques and there's no power/elite group. Also, mixing it up allows you to meet with your more categorized committee so you don't have to deal with what Bethy goes through and fall asleep with engineering mentors directing their focus to engineers. HOWEVER, you then want to reshuffle and ultimately you want different groups mixing so you learn something from one another. In a smaller group though, engineering mentors (or whoever else it is) will more feel like they're personally talking to a smaller group and individually cater it to them and not direct their focus to only some students while neglecting others in a large group.

3. Bring it back together. Have the different groups share what they thought of for whatever idea it was. This allows communication within the entire group from many different people.

4. Make it Visual: Just pull out butcher paper or poster board and have people write down ideas or timelines on paper with lots of colorful markers. It gets people more involved, it's usually fun, and with ideas solidified it makes groups more accountable to what they plan on doing.

5. Food: People are happy and thus more willing to contribute to the people who fed them. It sounds silly but trust me, it works!

6. Create a friendly environment: People are less willing to speak up and participate if it looks like the standard classroom environment. Why? I don't know, maybe they're used to a teacher lecturing rather than actively getting involved. So instead of sitting with all desks facing front, try to have it so you can sit in circles, whether it be in desks or on the floor. Less formal is better for active involvement.

And in response to Sanddrag's dilemma
Quote:
It's like our members translate me saying "any ideas or coments?" into "be quite or die." Why the heck don't they talk?!?
I've noticed that when you say "any ideas or comments"...it's kind of like an after thought. I don't translate it to "be quiet or die" but more into, "well we basically know what we're going to do but we're going to let you put in your 2 cents just incase." A lot of it has to do with how you communicate with others. So open up the floor first and get people's ideas rather than their reactions to something.
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Unread 11-05-2003, 12:06 AM
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shyra1353 shyra1353 is offline
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FRC #0771 (S.W.A.T. (St. Mildred's Women Advancing Technology))
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thanks everyone for the suggestions... our next meeting is on thursday and im going to try the group thing for sure ... hopefully that will go over well ...

any other suggestions will also be helpful
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2003 : 771 - SWAT - programmer
2004 : 1353 - The Gizmos - founder/team leader - mechanical head
2005 : 771 - SWAT - team manager and captain - design and construction member

2006: 771 - SWAT - mentor
2007: 912 - Iron Lyons - mentor
if you're going around in circles...then maybe you're cutting corners
aim for the moon and if you miss at least you will land amongst the starts

Email: underscore.asdf@gmail.com
My Website!!
Shirts available for trade: 2005 SWAT 771, 2004 Team 1353, 2003 FIRST Canadian Regional, and 2005 Greater Toronto Regional.
I am also interested in operator/safety captain badges, pins, or any other handouts your team may have given out that you would be willing to mail to Canada.
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Unread 11-06-2003, 11:18 AM
D.J. Fluck
 
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If all else fails, a stun gun or baton helps keep the group quiet and aware


No really, I think the key to keeping everyone awake, aware and involved. As Beth said above, she thinks the mentors from her team pretty much entertain towards the engineering group. That is very important, but you have to keep as many people and all the team groups involved as much as possible.

I say as you go down your list of topics, vary them like:

1. Mechanical robot related issue

2. Chairmans Award

3. Software Problem

4. Spirit team

and so on.

That should keep more people interested and awake, whereas the engineering group pays attention to the first half of the meeting and falls asleep when the chairmans award & spirit team topics are going on and vice-versa. Then again, if the advice doesn't work, the stun gun should do the trick and keep everyone awake and aware

-D.J.


V <- Maybe i'll donate a stun gun to 125 to keep their meeting moderator in line

Last edited by D.J. Fluck : 11-06-2003 at 11:25 AM.
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Unread 11-06-2003, 11:24 AM
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I wish I had a video of the meetings I do... I nearly have an entire sing and dance routine. And the fact that i casually swear without noticing keeps the students amused, and the parents don't care either! They just keep getting more and more enthused and interested. The kind of control I have is indescribable... but hey, i guess ppl find my personality entertaining.
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Unread 11-06-2003, 01:34 PM
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It wasn't a robotics meeting but I just might this year. Take a giant squirtgun and occasionally squirt it in the direction of those drifting away or just at the odd member or mentor to keep others awake. Some fun and no damage but be sure that you keep the gun at all times.
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Unread 11-08-2003, 12:27 PM
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thanks everyone for all of your suggestions .. they really helped the meeting go much better and a lot more things got accomplished .. but i had to yell at them first to pay attention ... hmm .. maybe the stun gun or squirt gun might be a good idea .. hmmmmm
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2003 : 771 - SWAT - programmer
2004 : 1353 - The Gizmos - founder/team leader - mechanical head
2005 : 771 - SWAT - team manager and captain - design and construction member

2006: 771 - SWAT - mentor
2007: 912 - Iron Lyons - mentor
if you're going around in circles...then maybe you're cutting corners
aim for the moon and if you miss at least you will land amongst the starts

Email: underscore.asdf@gmail.com
My Website!!
Shirts available for trade: 2005 SWAT 771, 2004 Team 1353, 2003 FIRST Canadian Regional, and 2005 Greater Toronto Regional.
I am also interested in operator/safety captain badges, pins, or any other handouts your team may have given out that you would be willing to mail to Canada.
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Unread 11-08-2003, 04:51 PM
Lil' Lavery Lil' Lavery is offline
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Just hope the slacking off doesnt occur during the build season. We ahd a big problem with several of our team members last year slacking off and mainly our vets doing all the work on the robot. A lot of younger members become bored during the build season because the are mainly doing grunt work like filing or tapping, ty giving people interesting tasks. During the pre-season dont just talk, give some reasonable amount of activity. And finally try to make sure rookie members arnt too intimidated about what your doing. During team discussion it helps to explain terms to those who dont know them. Such as tourque or gear-ratios. People can offer alot more when they know what they are dealing with.
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