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 Subject : Using Community Meetings to Meet the Needs of Your Organization During.. 03/17/2020 05:12:45 PM 
Michelle Hurley
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Subject :Using Community Meetings to Meet the Needs of Your Organization During Crisis

The Community Meeting is a trauma-informed community building tool you can use to check-in with staff at your organization. It is particularly useful during times of crisis and stress, including the current experiences many are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak. This practice strengthens your team by providing the opportunity for people to share their feelings, discuss their goals or needs, and identify who they can rely on for support. Any team member can call for a community meeting and they can be hosted virtually or over the phone as needed.

There are three main questions to ask one another during the Community Meeting:
1. How are you feeling?
2. What is your goal for today?
3. Who will you ask for help?

You can tailor these questions to meet your organization’s needs. Use a circular structure so each team member can participate in both answering and asking the questions to one another. If you are online or on the phone, set up a rotation beforehand or allow staff to choose who is next.

The Community Meeting is trauma-informed for three reasons:

1. Naming feelings helps to prevent you from disconnecting from your emotions, also referred to as alexithymia. It also allows others to know when a coworker may need more support throughout the day. Once a person has named their feeling, do not dwell on processing, but rather move onto the next question and follow up later as needed.
2. Setting goals allows you to look toward a positive future, breaking the spell of being stuck in the past. You can also help staff to identify what they may need from the team to help them achieve these goals.
3. Identifying a support person promotes interdependence and reduces feelings of isolation. This can be especially important during times of crisis or stress.

Many organizations find Community Meetings a helpful practice to use daily or at every all-staff meeting. You can also change the first question to a creative alternative. Some examples might include, “If you were the weather right now, what would you look like?” “If you were an amusement park ride, which one would you be today?” Although these meetings are designed to be used with staff, there may be an opportunity for you to use these with youth you work with.

If your organization uses Community Meetings or another team-building practice during meetings, please share your experiences in the forum.

Together, we can!
Last Edited On: 03/17/2020 05:15:48 PM By Michelle Hurley
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