hand signals in meetings

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Fall Back
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Mar 24 2007 21:41
hand signals in meetings

I've met a few people recently with otherwise good politics who have defended these. I mean stuff like "jazz hands" (waving you hands in the air) for agreement, weird pointing for a "direct response" etc. etc.

Can anyone at all justify these? Personally, I think any help they give in running a meeting can be replecated with a decent chair, and any other bonus is totally counteracted by how weird and fucked up they make a meeting look to any newcomer - personally I think a lot of people do use them for that reason, to seperate themselves away as good activists who know all the meeting rules etc.

Does anyone have other experiences? Anyone found them useful? Can they be used in stopping blokes dominating a meeting? And most importantly, who has good stories of dickhead activists looking like nobs using them?

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Mar 24 2007 22:00

Jazz hands? That sounds so hilarious that I'm in favour.

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MJ
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Mar 24 2007 22:02

This happens in the US. People who do this should have their hands cut off.

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Mar 24 2007 22:09

If a room full of people suddenly began the jazz hands I reckon I'd laugh myself into a coma.

rasputin
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Mar 24 2007 22:22

Some of them I can see a purpose to....

Technical point - having a way to immediately see someone has something to say regarding the meeting itself is useful, particularly if the point is urgent. it's a much more immediate way for the facilitator to identify it than having someone raise their hand and potentially be in queue for ages, or have to talk over people.

Direct response - similar to the above, makes it easier to immediately respond to what people are saying. only makes sense when the response is actually direct, in that it changes the nature of what it's responding to. "I think we should move our meetings here", "Direct response: we can't, they're shut on this night" saves having someone queued up while people waste time discussing a subject without vital information.

Jazz hands I don't really see the point of. The "proposal" one doesn't allow people to jump the queue and so doesn't add anything to the process of the meeting that a regular hand followed by "okay, here's the proposal..." would do. The one for block (in consensus based groups) doesn't add anything that "Does anyone block this?" "I do" doesn't have.

I'm sure there's others but I forget what....

rasputin
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Mar 24 2007 22:34

eh, I'm not in love with the hand signals as a whole and generally don't use them. but those two specific ones can help make the role of chair easier to manage and can make the meeting flow better - if used properly (as oppose to people seeing "direct response" as "I'm more important than you so I'm going to jump the queue). and neither is particularly alienating IMO. most of the others I just don't see contributing anything to meeting process in the slightest.

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Mar 24 2007 23:01

Hand signals work great in meetings. Here's a comrade making a "Point of Parliamentary Procedure" at the recent BASTARD conference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvNl41puCto

syndicalist
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Mar 24 2007 23:42

Just break their fingers and that will settle this disruptive nonsense.

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Mar 24 2007 23:58

Found this helpful guide for you Jack.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

syndicalist
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Mar 24 2007 23:59

read my middle finger

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Mar 25 2007 00:04
syndicalist wrote:
read my middle finger

Its people like you that make it necessary for meetings to have a vibe watcher.

syndicalist
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Mar 25 2007 00:06

What, per chance, is a "vibe watcher"? Do you mean to gauge peoples karma?

syndicalist
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Mar 25 2007 00:08

Jack: I bet you use hand signals in your union meetings.

The middle finger, the pointing finger and the fist mainly.

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Mar 25 2007 00:13
syndicalist wrote:
What, per chance, is a "vibe watcher"? Do you mean to gauge peoples karma?

Dude. Seriously. Its hilarious. They appoint someone who's job it is in the meeting to watch for negative facial expressions and body language. Then if its "serious" they interrupt the meeting and call you out for your negative energy or something.

Don't you know anything about real @narkyism!!!11?

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Mar 25 2007 00:25
Jack wrote:
Quote:
Dude. Seriously. Its hilarious. They appoint someone who's job it is in the meeting to watch for negative facial expressions and body language. Then if its "serious" they interrupt the meeting and call you out for your negative energy or something.

Please, please, please tell me this is real!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making

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Mar 25 2007 00:48
Jack wrote:
Jesus fucking Christ! That's almost as mental as a gendered stack.

I got yelled at by starhawk once for bad vibes.

sovietpop
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Mar 25 2007 00:50

I think the jazz hand one is useful - its not the same as taking a vote. Its a non-verbal way of expressing agreement, which can speed a meeting up no end because it prevents a string of people saying "I agree with what he said". It also allows people who don't feel comfortable speaking in front of a room of strangers the chance to participate. It can exclude people if it isn't explained before the start of the meeting how the meeting is going to be run - but you could say that about any procedural technique.

syndicalist
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Mar 25 2007 00:50

Quote:The middle finger, the pointing finger and the fist mainly

WSA meetings sound much more debauched than Sol Fed ones.

edit - how the fuck is this post 2 hours in the future?
------------------------------------------------
You see WSA can control time and space. We have the grooveist vibes and organize at the speeed of sound and, uh, whoa, ah, my head, oh, wow, must've been this thread or the or the or the ... wow man..... oh, pass this thing along tongue circle A red n black star roll eyes

Ok, enough of this sillines for me. Enjoy the hand single bit. And the next time you get pissed off say: Excuse me bro.--middle finger up---"have a nice day" They'll catch the vibe.

sovietpop
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Mar 25 2007 01:51
thugarchist wrote:
Jack wrote:
I got yelled at by starhawk once for bad vibes.

I was bullyed by starhawk into going to a meeting about compost toilets. feel my pain.

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Mar 25 2007 00:58
sovietpop wrote:
I think the jazz hand one is useful - its not the same as taking a vote. Its a non-verbal way of expressing agreement, which can speed a meeting up no end because it prevents a string of people saying "I agree with what he said". It also allows people who don't feel comfortable speaking in front of a room of strangers the chance to participate. It can exclude people if it isn't explained before the start of the meeting how the meeting is going to be run - but you could say that about any procedural technique.

Its insular crap that alienates anyone trying to attend a meeting who isn't integrated into the specialized activist scene. Plus its just stupid.

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Mar 25 2007 01:20
sovietpop wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Jack wrote:
I got yelled at by starhawk once for bad vibes.

I was bullyed by starhawk into going to a meeting about compost toilets. feel my pain.

Is that where she found her politics?

Antieverything
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Mar 25 2007 01:41

If the 'jazz fingers' are too alienating, why not use the thumbs up? Everyone'll know it means agreement or support.

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Mar 25 2007 02:02
Antieverything wrote:
If the 'jazz fingers' are too alienating, why not use the thumbs up? Everyone'll know it means agreement or support.

Why not just have a meeting like normal people instead of being jackasses?

Antieverything
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Mar 25 2007 03:12

I've given a thumbs up to statements I agreed with in 'normal meetings' before. I hope I wasn't acting like a jackass.

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Mar 25 2007 03:18
thugarchist wrote:
Antieverything wrote:
If the 'jazz fingers' are too alienating, why not use the thumbs up? Everyone'll know it means agreement or support.

Why not just have a meeting like normal people instead of being jackasses?

BAM!

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Mar 25 2007 04:01
Antieverything wrote:
I've given a thumbs up to statements I agreed with in 'normal meetings' before. I hope I wasn't acting like a jackass.

Thats a tad different than having a 'thumbs up' protocol for affirmation. C'mon.

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Mar 25 2007 04:36
x357997 wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Antieverything wrote:
If the 'jazz fingers' are too alienating, why not use the thumbs up? Everyone'll know it means agreement or support.

Why not just have a meeting like normal people instead of being jackasses?

BAM!

There're a few in here I've used in meetings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHSe1ogHYUw

Antieverything
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Mar 25 2007 06:25

I think you guys are overestimating the 'procedural' utility of the different hand signals, anyhow. They have much more to do with expressing normal feelings relating to normal social interaction in a manner that doesn't get in the way of the procedural aspect of things.

I'm thinking about the times I've seen these things done in US activist circles and they make sense when you see them in practice...the 'jazz hands' thing, for example, is just a way of applause without causing a distraction. We can't expect folks to sit perfectly still, like well-trained children, even when they are hearing something said that moves them.

I remember being at a retreat put on by a religious-pacifist organization on the east coast of the US...it was sorta strange, i'm more into non-violence now than i was then...but the point is, when I would talk about the importance of socialism, the black folks would put their fists in the air. No problem there. When something about ecology or feminism came up, the white women would do the jazz hands...seems like a fair trade.

I'm as critical as anyone of exclusionary activist culture...in its many forms. Still, I'm reluctant to pounce on every practice that comes out of such a culture. Jazz hands are way less obnoxious than the applause and 'harrumphing' that goes on in parliaments.

Antieverything
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Mar 25 2007 06:26
thugarchist wrote:
x357997 wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Antieverything wrote:
If the 'jazz fingers' are too alienating, why not use the thumbs up? Everyone'll know it means agreement or support.

Why not just have a meeting like normal people instead of being jackasses?

BAM!

There're a few in here I've used in meetings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHSe1ogHYUw

nice

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Mar 25 2007 07:51

Metal sign is the only hand motion allowed at any meeting I attend. Otherwise I walk.

alibadani
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Mar 25 2007 12:08
Antieverything wrote:
when I would talk about the importance of socialism, the black folks would put their fists in the air. No problem there. When something about ecology or feminism came up, the white women would do the jazz hands...seems like a fair trade.

I'm not a racist but... White people sometimes.....