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Requirements for chair persons

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ADH
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by ADH »

I propose to add four new requirements for a scheduled chairperson.

  • Is gamefree.

  • Is working the steps

  • has a sponsor

  • has been accepted by group conscience


This is to filter out any eager newcomers, who are still prone to relapse.
In the past we had a situation, where somebody volunteered for chairing a meeting who didn't work the steps and didn't have a sponsor. This person ended up relapsing and the meeting slot stayed reserved for ages. I'm left wondering how many newcomers encountered an empty meeting room and left, simply because there was no meeting chair.

The requirements of a sponsor and working the steps makes sure that there is at least some experience present regarding working the program of recovery and the meeting doesn't turn into a complaining session when it's filled with newcomers.
Scott
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:53 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by Scott »

"Is game-free" sounds excellent. I think we're all on-board with that.

"Has been accepted by group conscience" is a good one, if we can do it in a streamlined way that does not take up much of our business meeting time with discussions about all new meeting leaders.

"Is working the steps" and "has a sponsor" sound like excellent pluses, but too restrictive as requirements. All parts of this program are suggestions. And one of the best suggestions is doing service work. I'd feel reluctant to deny meeting leading to someone who currently doesn't have a sponsor or isn't working the steps. What if I'm between sponsors or if it has been a couple months since I've done any step work? Would I stop leading?

If a meeting slot remains assigned to a person who hasn't shown up in a long time, the problem is not the leader requirements. The problem is that no one took any action to get the person's name off the calendar or the meeting into the announcement of open meeting leader spots.
LND_5678
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by LND_5678 »

Greetings!
I disagree with the proposal to add these requirements:
I propose to add four new requirements for a scheduled chairperson.

  • Is gamefree.

  • Is working the steps

  • has a sponsor

  • has been accepted by group conscience



Before I go into more details, I want to say a few words about the role Service plays in recovery. My being of service has been extremely important in my recovery, and I have not always had a sponsor or have been working the steps while chairing meetings, nor was I accepted by the group conscience. I was game-free.

What did I do? I made it a priority to be aware of putting the meeting on my personal calendar. I have a belief that being a meeting chair person is a privilege and a responsibility. As recovery meeting chair, I am being trusted with an important part of our members' recovery process. I never take trust for granted. I don't trust people easily with the important things in life, and when others indicate they trust me, it helps me believe in myself, and it helps me believe in them. It's a journal of mutual growth and development, a process of becoming more sober and more mature.

Without providing this service opportunity to members who haven't got a lot under their belt yet, we are removing a very important avenue for them to develop and strengthen their metaphorical responsibility, trust , generosity, and selflessness muscles. Thoughts of "someone trusts me to do this," "I am giving something of myself and my time to other people who are suffering as I am or have been suffering," and "I can be trusted to do this, I am responsible enough to do it" are crucial parts of my recovery journey. Also, I have the thoughts and fears, "What if I can't do it?" "What if I fail - they'll hate me, they'll never forgive me, I will be disgraced." So then I have to talk back to those fears, "I might fail. I don't know if I will. If I feel as though I'm going to fail the fellowship, I will connect with people and express my thoughts and feelings and ask for help." That way, I know that I am holding up my end of the relationship, and not taking for granted the privilege of being allowed to lead regularly scheduled meetings.

Being permitted to chair a meeting gives me hope that I can maintain my sobriety and that I can help others lessen their suffering and that I can live up to expectations I couldn't have imagined while I was still buried under active gaming addiction.

Experience, Strength, and Hope.

Here are my thoughts about the specific requirements.
1) Game-free
I can agree with a scheduled chair person needing to be game-free as long as "game-free" is not required to be a long duration. If a person has fewer than three days game-free, my opinion is that it would be rather difficult for them to chair a meeting. Of course, this is very subjective. I don't think there can be an objective standard. Also, bear in mind that we have no real way to enforce this rule.

For me, this as a suggestion. Something along the lines of "If you have less than 3 game-free days, you might need or want to step down temporarily from leading meetings. This is suggested so that you have some time to catch up on sleep and gain sharper focus." Maybe add something like: if you are or have been unable to chair your scheduled meetings for an extended time, it's recommended you step down from chairing the meeting on a more permanent basis to give another member a chance to be of service by chairing the meeting.

2) Is working the steps and 3) has a sponsor
I strongly disagree with these two requirements. Instead, I propose the following: The person is a member of CGAA. Who is a member of CGAA? According to Tradition 3, "The only requirement for C.G.A.A. membership is a desire to stop computer/video gaming."

Here is a quote from our mission statement:
"Our groups share their collective experience and the principles that helped them. Each of us is free to try out or disregard the suggestions of the program and other members."

And from the cgaa.info website, "What C.G.A.A. is and is not" page:
"Our groups share their collective experience and the principles that helped them, but C.G.A.A. has no dogma, no teachings, no gurus, and no rules"

Requirements 2) and 3) are not compatible with these statements. Also, these two new requirements would create an inner circle, an upper echelon, a more privileged class of members. This goes against my understand of what our fellowship is about, our mission, and how we encourage and support members on their recovery journey.

4) has been accepted by group conscience

In theory, I agree with this. However, if the delay required to get the group conscience acceptance is too long, I'm not sure I would agree in practice. Again, "too long" is somewhat subjective. I think a month is too long to wait to assign a chair person to a scheduled meeting. A week's delay would not be too long, in my opinion. I might also take into consideration questions such as: How long has the chair position for that scheduled time slot been open? How many other time slots are also without a meeting leader? How many newcomers are showing up in that meeting?
____________________________________________
Thank you,
LND
Scott
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:53 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by Scott »

LND wrote:4) has been accepted by group conscience.In theory, I agree with this. However, if the delay required to get the group conscience acceptance is too long, I'm not sure I would agree in practice. Again, "too long" is somewhat subjective. I think a month is too long to wait to assign a chair person to a scheduled meeting. A week's delay would not be too long, in my opinion.

My proposal would be that if someone who is qualified (15+ meetings and past worst withdrawals) volunteers for an open spot, they start leading immediately and the spot is taken off of the Open Spots announcement. Their name is not put on the calendar until after approval at the next business meeting. Process is streamlined: The calendar keeper announces all new volunteers and says that approval is automatic unless anyone requests formal process, in which case the group would individually discuss and approve/disapprove each volunteer. If no one requests process, all volunteers are approved.

Streamlining is very important. Business meetings are already fairly slow, with barely enough time for discussion on two or three topics. If we were to have substantial discussion on every volunteer, it would eat up way too much of our business meeting time.

At the same time, it is very important that the group conscience has a say over all group matters, including who is leading the group's meetings.
MorganF
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by MorganF »

So... specific item for the agenda?

"Whether, what and how to add criteria beyond 'been to 15 meetings' for new meeting leaders?'
Scott
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:53 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by Scott »

No proposal about meeting leader approval was passed last business meeting, so we still have unanswered questions about what to do when there are concerns.

First, what is perfectly clear from Tradition Two: The group conscience can vote in, approve, or disapprove of any volunteer to any service position, including meeting leader.

What seems perfectly clear, but maybe should confirm:

  • This decision is made at the group's business meeting (rather than by email or forum.)

  • We don't want to be spending lots of time on approval of every meeting leader.

  • Process should be simple and easy.


Questions:
1) Does the group want to have (A) automatic, immediate approval to any volunteer and later consider removing the leader if anyone has concerns or (B) a chance to voice concerns before approval?
2) If allowing a chance for concerns, do we want (A) a set time period like one week or (B) however much time there is until the next business meeting, which could be 30 days or 1 day.
3) Do we want to discuss (A) every volunteer or (B) only volunteers who have had concerns raised about them?
4) While waiting for approval, should the open spot that was volunteered for be taken off the announced list of open spots?
5) Should the volunteer's name be put on the calendar immediately or after group approval?
6) Should we announce ahead of time who has volunteered so that people know they can raise their concerns? Or wait until the business meeting to announce it?
Scott
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:53 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by Scott »

I'll take a shot at the simplest proposal I can think of.

Proposal: When someone volunteers, it is posted to the forum and the open spot is removed from the announcements. If no one raises concerns before or at the next business meeting, approval is automatic. If concerns are raised, the group does normal approval process. Once approved, the volunteer's name goes on the calendar.
ADH
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by ADH »

I'm guessing not everybody feels like visiting the forums, or even cares about it. How about making it an announcement in the meeting format (for example: "Joost is being considered for leading the wednesday 1:30pm meeting, for more information see: ").
mrtambourine1941
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by mrtambourine1941 »

I agree with Scott. I think this is such a rare occasion that any extra time spent on it is a waste. If somebody has a concern, they can raise it, but I would stop there.
Scott
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:53 pm

Requirements for chair persons

Post by Scott »

Sure, can change it from forum to announcement:

Proposal: When someone volunteers, the open spot is removed from the announcement, which will say who the new volunteer is. If no one raises concerns before or at the next business meeting, approval is automatic. If concerns are raised, the group does normal approval process as soon as possible. Once approved, the volunteer's name goes on the calendar.
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