Facilitating effective meetings
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Digital Coast offers some useful training guides and tip sheets, including "Introduction to Planning and Facilitating Effective Meetings" and "Techniques for Facilitating Virtual Meetings."
A NERRS Science Collaborative web page offers resources for project teams as they seek to design and modify projects using virtual methods for engaging team members, end users, and stakeholders.
Resource: Lessons in Virtual Engagement
In 2020, Susanne Moser - with support from the NERRS Science Collaborative team - began a study to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted collaborative science projects. While initially focused on the shift to virtual engagement, the study eventually expanded to assess the broader implications of the ongoing pandemic, the conduct and outcomes of collaborative science, and stakeholder engagement under such unusual and strenuous circumstances. In March 2022, Susi presented those results via a webinar (see: webinar summary resource), and provided two resources that highlight persistent questions, key advice, and lessons learned.
- Persistent Questions About Virtual Engagement and Work Among NERRS Staff & Collaborators (PDF | Google Doc)
- Lessons in Virtual Engagement: The Hard-Won Lessons and Advice from Peers (PDF | Google Doc)
Tool: Listening with curiosity
Listening and focusing on different aspects of a story without the expectation of fixing or responding to the problem can foster deeper communication and shift perspectives. This structured, small group activity provides an example of how to intentionally structure meetings to prioritize storytelling, reflective listening, and understanding different contexts. The activity was part of the 2022 virtual project team workshop series and teams have since used it in community engagement activities.
Digital Coast's "Dealing with Disruptive Behaviors in Meetings" will help you learn what motivates different personality types, so that you can minimize distractions by using gentle or firm intervention techniques.
An experienced collaboration practitioner, drawing from a decade of collaborative science projects in the NERRS, has collected some best practices in "Resilience Dialogues: Strategies for Conflict Management in Collaborative Science."
In "Introduction to Stakeholder Participation," Digital Coast offers advice for determining when stakeholder participation is needed, identifying and analyzing stakeholders, practicing stakeholder participation techniques, and evaluating the processes.
Tool: Reflections on Engaging End Users
This tool is designed to help project teams develop a responsive and adaptive process for engaging end users. The tool may be used at various stages of a project and in whatever format best meets a team's needs. The questions are organized by project phase, but you may find value in considering some questions in advance and throughout your project. Download Reflections on Engaging End Users and see Design Your Project (Guide).