Week 4 PMWC check-in

Meeting chat and WildTunes

Like Comment

Hello all, 

I wanted to check in to see how you are getting on with things this week. How is everyone? Does anyone have any questions? 

There are a few things I would like to share with you:


This is a clip of the first-ever episode of the Vicar of Dibley, maybe you have seen it before?! It is very English! 😬 As a bonus (slightly silly) exercise, please watch the clip then comment on this post with feedback on things you think they did well in the meeting and things they could have done better. The purpose of this exercise is to practice giving feedback on a meeting so that we can improve the ways we do things and help others improve also.

Meetings are a topic I find oddly interesting. Many of us have a love / hate relationship with them. We feel sometimes that time spent in meetings is time spent away from doing ‘actual work’, but conversely, we can sometimes feel left out if we are not invited to certain meetings. 

Here are some more resources about meetings you may find interesting:
Freakonomics podcast. An interesting point discussed in this podcast is that we generally fill the time we have, so if we have an hour for a meeting it will generally take an hour!
Stop the Meeting Madness article. Amongst many other things, this article discusses research that apparently that meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years!

What are your top meeting tips? Please comment below.


In WildTeam class-based workshops we have a playlist we listen to during the breaks and sometimes whilst doing the exercises called 'WildTunes', here. It is a collaborative playlist where the only rule is that the songs have a link to wildlife! 🎧🥁🎹 


For those career searchers amongst us, a wee reminder that before the live sessions this week we will be doing an optional session to think about how questions about project management might be answered in an interview. 9.30 am or 5.30 pm GMT (same zoom link). If you are keen, prepare an answer to the following potential interview question: "Can you explain how the project management training you list on your CV can help a project have conservation impact?”. Then we will split into breakout rooms to practice this and give feedback to each other.

See you in the live sessions on Monday.🏄‍♀️ 

All the best, 


Beth Robinson

WildLearning Specialist, WildTeam

I'm a WildLearning Specialist with WildTeam, a bit of a odd job title. My main role is to design, deliver and organise both our online and class-based training workshops. One of the best parts of my job is meeting other conservationists and learning about the work that they do. I really enjoy geeking out reading teaching theory and thinking about ways I can more creatively and engagingly deliver learning. Before working for WildTeam I did a PhD in invasive plants and human wildlife interactions. I find it really interesting to learn about the ways people interact with nature, both when nature is being wonderful, but also when is is being a bit annoying!
187 Contributions
16 Following


Go to the profile of Rachel Stewart
8 months ago

See separate string already posted...

Loved the very English VoD clip... some comments:

- attendees should arrive on time and notes are the record for late arrivals!

- note-taker appointed in advance, but before meeting starts!

- meeting should achieve objectives - like how to go about appointing a nephew vicar ;D

- notes should record salient points, not ‘fluff/silly interruptions’!!

Go to the profile of Ella Perkins
8 months ago


My feedback on the clip is below:


- Clear chair of the meeting and agenda

- He checked to see if everyone was there who needed to be

- Someone was assigned to take minutes

- Input from other members was encouraged

- Written agenda was shared with team 


- Minutes need to be key points, not everything said

- Ideally agendas shared in advance, so people can bring their ideas to the meeting

- Lack of focus - disruptions distracting from the agenda 

- No clear purpose of the meeting established or actions 

Go to the profile of Ryan Kinaid
8 months ago

Went Well

The Chair did the job well and also had the role of the organiser as they assigned the minute keeper role.

Could Have Gone Better

The meeting needed a time keeper to stop distractions and unfocused discussions as the meeting went out of control to the point where the participants lost focus and interest.

Some of the participants did not add anything to the meeting, therefore it could be questioned that was there a need for them to be invited to the meeting?

I don't think anyone had read over the source material provided.

The late comer was not aware of the agenda of the meeting, and questioned the order of the meeting content.

The minute taker was being a little bit overenthusiastic.

Go to the profile of Kirsty Brettell
8 months ago

What went well:

- Role of Chair and minute taker were clear before the meeting

- Space was given to others for input - except regarding planning permission! 

- Clear agenda, with documentation

- Opened and closed the meeting. Informed when the next meeting would be.

- Odd number of people to allow for casting vote? 

Could have been better: 

-Didn't complete meeting objectives- eg. appointing a new vicar. 

-Late arrivals

-Minute taker was not confident in their task, minutes were word for word which is not necessary for the whole meeting. 

-Others input was not allowed regarding planning permission. Could have had a vote of agreement/ disagreement. 

- Knitting whilst in the meeting!

- Agenda should have been shared in advance

- Lack of diversity (only one woman, all white, no young people, no disabled etc) 

- Could have asked if any action points from the last meeting needed to be addressed or had been resolved. 

- Could have made action points for the next meeting. 

-Could have asked if anyone else had anything else to raise/ discuss. 

Go to the profile of John T Graham
8 months ago

Notes on the Vicar of Dibley clip:

Went well:

Roles were appointed, including minute-taker.

Meeting went ahead on time despite missing members (Do Something).

Chair of the meeting was clear on updating other members on the work for which he was accountable (contacting the bishop re. new vicar, and asking that if possible a younger candidate should be favoured).

The chair (who, presumably, is in charge of the meeting agenda) provided a written copy of the agenda to everyone. 

Members of the meeting encouraged other members to give input. 

The chair did ask for any other business at the end of the meeting. 

Could have gone better:

Latecomer was not brought up to speed on what he'd missed.

The chair did not ask if anyone had to leave at a specific time. 

There was no overview of the meeting agenda at the beginning (start by discussing the appointment of a new vicar, followed by an update on the work surrounding the Village of the Year competition, then planning applications).

The chair did not ask if anyone had any other business at the beginning of the meeting - this is necessary so that time can be allocated at the start for all items on the agenda. He should have asked if the committee wanted to discuss items on the agenda in the order listed, in case the order had to be changed, as some developments may have occurred between the printing of the agenda and the meeting. 

Although a printed copy of the agenda was given to each member, they were given the agenda at the start of the meeting, and did not have time to review it before the meeting started. It should have been sent out. 

Although members encouraged other members to give their input, this encouragement did not come from the chair, and there seemed to be a rather dictatorial atmosphere. 

Minutes are generally a brief list of salient points, not a word-for-word transcript. In some circumstances, verbatim records can be taken if requested. 

The planning applications were not explained, discussed or voted on. 

One of the members was the chair's son (was this in line with standing orders? Has he gone through the appropriate selection process?), and neither he nor his father declared a  conflict of interest despite the fact that he had submitted one of the planning applications, and it affected his and his father's private residence. 

The previous minutes were not reviewed and approved as a correct record of what was discussed and decided in the meeting. There was no reference to previous meetings (does the council have any projects underway? What actions were put in place last meeting? How are they progressing?). 

There was uncertainty over whether the names of the chair and the clerk should be minuted (they absolutely should, so that there is a record of who the officers were). The absence of one member was not minuted, but should have been. The vicar's vacant seat on the council should also have  been minuted. 

The council had an even number of members: this is acceptable, as one of their members had recently and unexpectedly passed away, but the response to this was not mentioned (does the chair get a casting vote in this situation?). 

There was no timekeeper for the meeting - distractions occurred, and the meeting was not brought back to the issue under discussion. Time should have been allocated to different items based on those items' importance and complexity. 

Both the chair and the member who arrived late were keen for the meeting to end, and pushed for it to end quickly, and there was no opportunity for other members to bring up other business. 

Go to the profile of Lara Reden
8 months ago

Freakonomics has a lot of interesting interviews! Another podcast that discusses issues at work, such as challenges with meetings, is Happier at Work.

Notes on Vicar of Dibley:

Went Well -

- Roles were assigned

- Although there were (mostly) tangents, the chair did try to return to issues on the agenda  quickly 

Could be improved -

- It's unclear why the attendees were included in the meeting (did they have a necessary role?)

- The issues on the agenda didn't need a meeting; there are more effective ways of dealing with small things