Meetings for human beings who want to get work done

The sociocratic meeting format

Basic meeting format

  • Opening. Making sure people & circle are ready for the meeting
  • Content: Creating more clarity for the circle’s work.
  • Closing: Evaluating the meeting to improve meetings over time.


Check-in/opening round


  • Attendance: we make sure our note taker is present, and we take note of who is absent. We will need this information later for building the agenda.
  • Duration: countless meetings are being scheduled without clarity on the duration of the meeting, and without clarity on whether everyone can stay until the agreed-upon meeting time. Create clarity by checking in on the duration.
  • Minutes: Have last meeting’s minutes have they been consented to and have they been published in the logbook? Have people who missed last time’s minutes read and understood the minutes? In short: are we all on the same page so we don’t have to circle back to last meeting’s business?
  • Information: Is there anything else people want to share? This could be reminding people of an organization-wide event, a personal announcement. (This is only for announcements from outside the circle. Any reports from the domain of the circle belong into the meeting agenda.) If people have a chance to say it now, they will be more relaxed and focused. If any announcement like this is complicated or sparks a dicussion, either stop the discussion or, if it is relevant to the circle, make it an agenda item.
  • Next meeting: Is there a next meeting date? If not, is there a plan on when and how the circle is coming to a next meeting date? Even if there is a standing meeting time, it is worth acknowledging time and date because any regular meeting time might, for example, conflict with national holidays or other events.
    If the question of a next meeting date is complicated, then make it an agenda item.


  • Consent to agenda
  • Address topics
  • Updating the backlog: assessing the progress of the agenda items

Consent to agenda

  • the list of agenda items and an order in which to address them
  • how much time we are allotting to each agenda item (either as shown below — neutral to time zones and with detailed start and beginning which makes it very easy to be accountable, or just the number of minutes allotted)
  • what our desired outcome is for each agenda item: report, exploration or decision (see next section)

Agenda items

  • Reports will be a description of relevant information.
  • Exploration will be a generating of ideas in relationship to an issue or a prompt.
  • Decisions will approve proposals that guide the circle’s work, or elections.

Update backlog


Check-out/evaluation/closing round

  • interpersonal dynamics (gratitude, tension, style of communication, sense of connection etc.)
  • the content of the work (how much got done, how much clarity was created, was a difficult topic finally dealt with etc.) and
  • the process of the meeting (did the facilitation feel firm enough/too rigid, was the meeting time kept, did the choice of agenda items seem relevant, was there crosstalk during rounds etc.)
Many more examples and more detailed charts in



Sociocracy, Non-Violent Communication, Linguistics

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