I’ve been working on a piece of homework assigned during a presention by my Australian buddy Donna McGeorge at the 2011 IFVP Conference.  One of her recommendations to us was to make a list of fifty declarations: statements that we know, through our professional expertise, to be absolutely true. This list can then be turned into book chapters, blog posts, etcetera.

I am finding this exercise not only useful, but a lot of fun as well! Here are mine so far:

Eris’ Twenty Declarations
1.    Good meeting design, like good graphic design, requires white space.
2.    You don’t have to call on people in the same order in which they raise their hands.
3.    Communication works best if I assume the other person has good intentions.
4.    Adding “but…” to the phrase “I’m sorry” negates the apology.
5.    No one ever complained about a meeting ending early.
6.    You don’t have to be the “official” facilitator to positively affect a meeting.
7.    Don’t work at it, play with it!
8.    It’s possible to enjoy something that you suck at.
9.    There’s no right answer to the wrong question.
10.The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time; the order of the bites helps.
11.Before you decide HOW to do it, you need to be clear on WHY you’re doing it.
12.If you didn’t document it, it may as well not have happened.
13.You haven’t really made a decision if you haven’t included WHO is going to implement it and WHEN.
14.The only way to make space for quieter people to speak is for louder people to shut up.
15.Don’t let people think they are going to decide if they’re not. They’ll never trust you again.
16.Consensus is not the only tool.
17.If I want things to be different…*I* have to be different!
18.Run your own race.
19.There are no do-overs, only do-betters.
20.Eliminating the “problem person” doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.

I’ll explore and elaborate on these over the next six months of posts.