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Agenda Contract

The Facilitator is responsible for honoring the Agenda Contract. The Facilitator keeps the questions and discussion focused on the agenda item. Be gentle, but firm, because fairness dictates that each agenda item gets only the time allotted. The Agenda Contract is made when the agenda is reviewed and accepted. This agreement includes:

  • The items on the agenda
  • The order in which they are considered
  • The time allotted to each

Unless the whole group agrees to change the agenda, the Facilitator is obligated to keep the contract. The decision to change the agenda must be a Consensus, with little or no discussion.

At the beginning of the meeting, the agenda is presented to the whole group and reviewed, item by item. Any member can add an item if it has been omitted. While every agenda suggestion must be included in the agenda, it does not necessarily get as much time as the presenter wants. Time ought to be divided fairly, with individuals recognizing the fairness of old items getting more time than new items and urgent items getting more time than items which can wait until the next meeting, etc. Also, review the suggested presenters and time limits. If anything seems inappropriate or unreasonable, adjustments must be made. Once the whole agenda has been reviewed and consented to, the agenda becomes a contract. The Facilitator is obligated to follow the order and time limits. This encourages members to be on time to meetings.

 

Contributors: C.T. Butler, Amy Rothstein

Recommended Books: On Conflict on Consensus

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