Tag Archives: communication

Quotes of the Week (Week 47/2015)

This week, we offer you some quotes, curated from our link collection on Tumblr.

Seeing last week’s events, they take on a larger, deeper meaning for me. I always knew our work was relevant, but it may well be much more relevant than we thought.

Stay safe.

“Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to merely put their dent in the universe. No, they have to fucking own the universe. It’s not enough to be in the market, they have to dominate it. It’s not enough to serve customers, they have to capture them.” – RECONSIDER – Signal v. Noise

Continue reading Quotes of the Week (Week 47/2015)

Use your hands!

Handsigns for Meetings


Have you ever attended a local party meeting? People get off-topic a lot. People argue louder and louder while one person repeats their point for a third time. You have a correction to some recently shared information, but there are 5 people ahead of you on the speaking list… You name it.

In these never ending meetings, I always wished to cut all these situations short. Here comes the answer: Our partner Lara has a method she calls „Use your hands“. She has compiled and illustrated the handy list of signs you can use during meetings.

These signs have their roots in sign language and in different activist movements. For example the Occupy movement uses them, too.
„But you don’t need to be an activist to use them, right?“, points out Lara.

She advises to introduce the signs before using them, and to explain how they make things easier. „I always draw them somewhere visible for the whole group, too“, Lara tells. In her meetings and facilitation situations, she usually introduces only a few of the signs to find out whether people are curious and enthusiastic about the idea.

Maybe I will take the list to my next party meeting and see how curious my fellow party members get.

What are your experiences in meetings? Do you find the signs helpful? Would you try these signs in actual meetings?

Fundamental Aspects to make Work Meetings work

I ran a session at Mobilecamp Dresden today, speaking about “improving meetings”.

Other than in my previous thoughts about good meetings, that were centered around open business meetings, possibly between partners who don’t yet collaborate or know eachother well, this session was centered around project group meetings. Some fundamental aspects that I find important to make a meeting work:

Continue reading Fundamental Aspects to make Work Meetings work

Template for a good meeting

After a meeting with a business partner today, I felt quite dissatisfied. Reflecting on the situation, I realised that I had not held the frame in which the conversation happened well: I had not influenced the situation well enough to make it function better for me.

To remind myself and prevent this from happening again, as an exploration to make something implicit explicit, and possibly as an inspiration to you, dear reader, here is a

Template for a good meeting

This can be a work in progress and evolve as we understand it better.


Version 1.0

  1. Setting up / checking in
    1. Check the physical space for any constraints or problems – light, sound, air?
    2. Check into the psychological states of all people – are they fully here? Anything that needs to be taken care of before we can start?
    3. Establish Purpose: why is everyone here? What made you come? What do you wish/hope for? (Consider using “Mad Sad Glad Afraid”.)
    4. Check the timeframe: how much time is available? (A good meeting with people who don’t know eachother usually takes 90 minutes+. Plan with 120 minutes if possible, then you will make it in 90. Sometimes it takes 120. Rarely it takes 60. People who know eachother can work something out in 45-60 minutes, but even here, most important things take 90 minutes. Be very, very aware when there are less than 60 minutes available.)
  2. Meeting
    1. Listen attentively. What is happening? What is really happening? Continue reading Template for a good meeting