Process Observation

Silhouette of a head with colors emerging out the top

Healthy groups provide feedback loops so they can learn and grow as a group. One practice is to designate a "process observer" who takes notes on group process, then reports their observations to the group as an agenda item at the end of the meeting.

Here are some sample prompts for process observation.

  • How was the energy and focus of the group?
  • Were presenters and reports well prepared and did they use time efficiently?
  • Were handouts useful, clear, and accessible to all members?
  • Was discussion productive? Expansive? Balanced? Respectful?
  • How was conflict or dissent handled? Specifically, how were minority perspectives heard and considered?
  • Was business conducted and decisions made in a way that honored differences in style amongst members?
  • Did the agenda include items which addressed issues of racism, sexism, ageism, and oppression, both internally and in the larger society?
  • Did the reports from any officers, staff and/or committees reflect a commitment to racial, gender and age justice and inclusion?
  • Was there evidence of outreach to groups (people of color) who might be stakeholders in decisions made during this meeting?
  • Were probing questions asked about the impact of decisions on underrepresented and oppressed persons in the church and the larger society?
  • Did members share responsibility for raising all concerns pertinent to the district’s mission and areas of focus, i.e., race and ethnicity, gender, and age?
  • Were policy decisions/recommendations made in today’s meeting that move the district closer to reflection and action on being an institution that values racial, gender, and age justice and inclusion?
  • What suggestions do you have to improve the process next time?