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Good cheatsheets


Caryn Ann Harlos
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I am chairing a committee meeting this weekend with about half of the members not very familiar with RONR.  I learned that one's first experiences with it (as a bludgeon or as a tool) can often effect how folks will view the rules for the rest of their time with the organization.  In order to make them feel comfortable and not intimidated, I would like to include some cheat sheets in their binders - any recommendations?  (free or download for a fee)?

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There is an excellent plastic card 6in x 4in that has a list on both sides of all the motions and their characteristics. I think you can order it from NAP or from Wolmar Parliamentary Enterprises, if they still exist. (I have no financial interest in NAP or Wolmar.)

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On 5/10/2018 at 3:40 AM, Caryn Ann Harlos said:

I am chairing a committee meeting this weekend with about half of the members not very familiar with RONR.

You should probably be worrying more about the other half. A little learning is a dangerous thing. :)

On 5/10/2018 at 3:40 AM, Caryn Ann Harlos said:

 I learned that one's first experiences with it (as a bludgeon or as a tool) can often effect how folks will view the rules for the rest of their time with the organization.

Well, it's possible that the worse one's initial experience, the more motivation there is to actually read the rule book, but I still wouldn't recommend purposely making the meeting go badly.

On 5/10/2018 at 3:40 AM, Caryn Ann Harlos said:

In order to make them feel comfortable and not intimidated, I would like to include some cheat sheets in their binders - any recommendations?  (free or download for a fee)?

Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief has some quick-reference material in the last few pages, so get everyone a copy of the book! (Also, make sure to be well rested before the meeting instead of, say, posting to the Robert's Rules forum at all hours of the night.)

But seriously, I think that the manner in which the chair conducts the meeting usually will make a much bigger difference to the members' perceptions than any of their misconceptions about, or ignorance of, the rules of order. Once they see that you know what you're doing, the meeting will go fine. (Probably.)

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Caryn Ann, I don't think much of most of the "cheat sheet" type materials I've seen that are designed to be included or inserted into something like a three-ring  binder.  The ones I'm familiar with just contain too many errors.   Many other downloadable and printable forms I've seen aren't much better.  I've got a couple around here somewhere that I've purchased from Amazon but I'm not crazy about them and don't know if they are what you want.  I've also get a couple I've seen online saved on my computer somewhere, but it might take a while to find them. As I recall, they are from one to three 8 1/2 x 11 summaries of common motions and what they are used for.

It would help to know a bit more about what you are looking for.  As I recall, the back cover of the program guide or some other booklet furnished to the delegates at your last national convention had a pretty decent guide to common parliamentary motions.  Is something like that what you have in mind?  Do you still have yours from the convention?  I'm sure I still have mine somewhere.

I'll look around my office and in my computer to see what I've got, but I may not be able to do it for another day or two.

The roughly 4 x 5 white plastic "motion cards" that you can order from NAP are pretty good as far as listing (ranking) the motions in order and listing the basic rules as to each motion as to whether it is debatable, can interrupt, vote required (or decided by the chair), etc.  That is probably what Guest Zev was referring to.  You can order those from the NAP bookstore on their website (parliamentarians.org).

I'll see what I can find, but might not be able to do it before Friday. I have a hunch the info that is on the back of one of the booklets from your 2016 convention might be what you want.

Edited to add:  The gold one-page folded "motion sheets" that you can get from NAP are pretty good....and at least technically correct... but I'm not sure that is what you want.  They are printed on 8 1/2 x 14 paper folded in half.  Our local NAP unit uses them as handouts at workshops, for new members, etc.  The official name is "Basic Parliamentary Information" sheet, but I don't know anybody who actually calls them that.  We all use some variation of "those gold motion sheets from NAP".  :)

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
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====Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief has some quick-reference material in the last few pages, so get everyone a copy of the book! (Also, make sure to be well rested before the meeting instead of, say, posting to the Robert's Rules forum at all hours of the night.)===

LOLOLOLOL that was early for me!!!  I didn't go to bed for at least a few more hours.

===But seriously, I think that the manner in which the chair conducts the meeting usually will make a much bigger difference to the members' perceptions than any of their misconceptions about, or ignorance of, the rules of order. Once they see that you know what you're doing, the meeting will go fine. (Probably.)===

You have never been to a Libertarian Party meeting ;)  We take RONR to a whole new level.

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But for everyone the meeting did happen.  It went well for what it was-- and we had the joy of multiple instances of substitute motions with several levels of amendment and spirited appeals of the ruling of the Chair (upheld each time) that went pretty equally for all "sides" so no one thought there was bias.

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