You can better know what a democratic meeting is. Below are some useful hints.
As you look over these hints you may find it useful to have in mind that all democracy is participatory; That each democratic meeting is a powerful learning experience for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear; that there are, below the surface, rules for effective and just communication being learned by participants.
These rules need not be mysterious. Examples may be: practice dialogue skills, methods, and techniques, learn that your respect and courtesy is good for you and yours, Increase your understanding of the vocabulary of the business.
Okay, on to the hints.
An effective democratic meeting is:
~ of, by, and for it's participants.
~ as free as possible from outside powers.
~ held in a safe place. One attribute of a safe place is that it is neutral.
~ designed and redesigned to meet the needs of the participants.
~ as inclusive as possible.
~ better when participants realize that it is an important listening experience.
~ better when leadership roles are kept to a minimum and are of wide participation. Take turns.
~ a 'teach in' and a learning time.
~ most often a time more for understanding and less for decisions.
~ a time for thinking together.
~ a time for all of your comments and communications are best addressed to the group as a whole.
~time to practice good manners and honesty.
~ an opportunity to observe the effectiveness of participatory democracy.
It may be best to see these hints as pointing to useful directions to go rather than as goals to achieve.
by Richard Sheehan
for Mago Bill