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Document 10: Meeting Effectiveness Assessment


The Meeting Effectiveness Support and Assistance committee (MESA) has developed an inventory to assist FA meeting groups to evaluate their effectiveness in helping members get and stay abstinent and carry FA’s message of recovery.

Document 7 of FA’s Meeting Guidelines lists, as one of the responsibilities of the Meeting Health Person (MHP), that a formal “meeting inventory” be completed every six months. It recommends that the MHP be prepared to keep this inventory to less than ten minutes.

This Meeting Effectiveness Assessment is intended as a format for a meeting inventory. It provides the basis for a ten- minute discussion at an FA meeting group’s business meeting, on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. The objective is to generate actions that FA meeting members might consider undertaking, as a group, to improve the effectiveness of their meeting.

The assessment starts with the basics and progresses. It is up to the group to decide how often to conduct an inventory and how much time to devote to it. An FA meeting group may work on Topic A or B for some months before moving on to Topic C. Another FA meeting group might find it useful to address all five topics each quarter. Some groups prefer to discuss one topic at each month’s business meeting for ten minutes.

This assessment prompts the FA meeting group to look at itself along fundamental principles. The process is intended to mirror, at the meeting level, the fourth and tenth step principles and practices that FA members undertake on an individual level.

MEETING EFFECTIVENESS ASSESSMENT

Topic A: How many newcomers are attracted to our meeting in a month? How can we improve this number?

The meeting might discuss ways to improve public awareness of the meeting. Brochure rack programs, religious institution bulletins, inexpensive print or digital classified ads are examples of efforts a group might undertake to improve their effectiveness at reaching still-struggling food addicts. Working on public information (PI) projects jointly with other meetings in the area through a Local Service Group might also be considered to help attract newcomers.

Topic B: How many of our newcomers continue to attend meetings? How can we improve this number?

The meeting might be reminded to share experience, strength, and hope for the newcomer. The meeting’s effectiveness depends in great part on the sharing. Members should avoid cross talk and focus on getting and staying abstinent. Greeters might strengthen their efforts to welcome newcomers. The break time ought be used by all members to connect with newcomers without overwhelming them.

Topic C: Are enough people standing up to sponsor at our meeting to meet the needs of new and struggling members? How can we improve the availability of sponsors at our meeting?

Meetings might reinforce how important it is to extend a hand to the newcomer in this direct way. They might raise awareness that to have no one stand up to sponsor is inadvisable and should be remedied by the group. For example, group members might be assigned to stand at the appropriate time to offer to sponsor newcomers on a prearranged rotating basis.

Topic D: How many of our attendees attend our business meeting? How can we improve this number?

Meetings might discuss ways to increase participation. Suggestions might include clearly stating the date of the business meeting a week ahead, by a reminder that committed members should plan to attend, or by suggestions to sponsees. Group members might also integrate the principles of service in their sharing, highlighting the importance of business meetings. Participation could be encouraged as a way to practice the 7th tradition, i.e., that “our own contributions” means not only money but time and energy by volunteering for service positions.

Topic E: How many of our meeting group members attend the World Service business and fellowship conventions, intergroup meetings, local service group meetings or chapter committee meetings? How many of our meeting group members are involved in FA service beyond the FA meeting group such as WSI, Intergroup, LSG, Chapter? Can this number be improved?

Members might encourage others to participate in organized service, or to think about their reticence to participate. Service strengthens recovery which strengthens the meeting. Also, meetings at which members participate at this level tend to be more informed about how to get questions answered and problems solved, how to accomplish public information projects, and communicate with WSI.

Questions and concerns about this assessment may be forwarded to mesa@foodaddicts.org.