Doorkeepers are selected in advance of the Meeting and need to arrive early enough to familiarize themselves with the physical layout of the space and to receive any last minute instructions from the Facilitator. They need to be prepared to miss the first half hour of the Meeting. Prior to the start of the Meeting, the Doorkeeper welcomes people, distributes any literature connected to the business of the Meeting, and informs them of any pertinent information (the meeting will start fifteen minutes late, the bathrooms are not wheelchair accessible etc.).
A Doorkeeper is useful, especially if people tend to be late. When the Meeting begins, they continue to be available for latecomers. They might briefly explain what has happened so far and where the Meeting is currently on the agenda. The Doorkeeper might suggest to the latecomers that they refrain from participating in the current agenda item and wait until the next item before participating. This avoids wasting time, repeating discussion, or addressing already resolved concerns. Of course, this is not a rigid rule. Use discretion and be respectful of the group's time.
Experience has shown this tole to be far more useful than it might at first appear, so experiment with it and discover if Meetings can become more pleasant and productive because of the friendship and care which is expressed through the simple act of greeting people as they arrive at the Meeting.
Sources: On Conflict & Consensus
Contributors: Amy Rothstein, C.T. Butler
Recommended Books: On Conflict & Consensus