Tips, Videos, Handouts, and Other Stuff

Is your idea worthy of group time?

As Craig prepares to facilitate a meeting he takes 2 minutes to explain the principle of “getting a second” – making sure that at least one other person in your group is willing to discuss an issue before taking up everyone’s valuable time. This can be done formally or informally, and is a great way to encourage efficient and effective teamwork.

Also check out Craig’s Good Group Tip: Get a second and Craig’s discussion of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey it’s Craig Freshley here and I want to talk a little bit about the time-honored principle of “Get a second”. If you are at all familiar with Roberts Rules of Order you know that before somebody can make a motion to be put on the floor to be discussed, there needs to be a second.

Now in some ways this seems trivial and a lot of groups treat it trivially, but the principle is pretty sound. The principle is that before I spend the time of my colleagues discussing something, I need to make sure that at least one other person in the group wants to spend time discussing that thing. If I am, like, way out there and I’m the only person that is interested in a topic — in other words if I can’t get a second — I have no business forcing my group to spend time on that issue.

Now, Roberts Rules of Order and getting a second is kind of formal, but the informal way to think about it is that before I bring something to the group, check in with somebody else first; just run the idea by somebody else in the group to see if it makes sense, to see if they think it would be worthwhile for the group to spend time on it.

So, whether you do it formally or informally, the principle of getting a second is a very sound principle for good group decisions. I hope that your group makes good group decisions. Thanks a lot everybody!

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