Consensus

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Question: We are 3 months into starting a co-housing community in western MA. We will soon be discussing how we will make group decisions. I don't think we have to reinvent the wheel on this one. Consensus and sociocracy seem to be common strategies. Which do you recommend? Sociocracy and...
Views since 5/2014: 12,285
In principle, groups make their most creative, win-win decisions when each participant puts in their personal best and no participant thinks they know best for the group. It works best when no single participant is working for a single, predetermined outcome. Practical Tip: Show up, pay attention,...
Views since 5/2014: 2,771
In principle, when we look at people in certain ways, place labels on them, or “put them in boxes,” it limits what they have to offer. It is especially tempting to “contain” those who disagree with us. We are tempted to ignore our adversaries, work around them, wall them off, shut them down. These...
Views since 5/2014: 4,533
In principle, considering alternative solutions makes for better decisions. Exploring alternatives either: (1) builds faith in the leading option (we get to see that the leading option really is the best among alternatives); (2) leads to a new, better solution; or (3) reveals that we do not have a...
Views since 5/2014: 2,871
In principle, there are basically three ways to influence the choices people make. You can regulate what people cannot do and punish violations. You can offer incentives to encourage certain choices. Or you can provide accurate information that rings so true it compels good choices. If you believe...
Views since 5/2014: 2,870
In principle, we each have a personality type, hardwired into us, not likely to change. There are many methods of assessing personality types, Myers-Briggs the most famous among them. Most assessments consist of a written test that reveals one's basic type. Categorizing people into four basic types...
Views since 5/2014: 3,190
In principle, the chances of making good group decisions are greatly increased if all the participants believe there is good in everyone. We are more likely to do well if we look for the best in each other. For some, believing that there is good in every person is a moral conviction. For others,...
Views since 5/2014: 3,166
In principle, the more information we have about something the better decision we are likely to make. We are likely to have the most information at the last minute. Deciding more than we really need to at any given moment can cause regrets later. Practical Tip: Before you start making decisions...
Views since 5/2014: 4,883
In principle, decision making “structure” consists of things like rules, agendas, mandates, and plans; and when these things frame our choices it frees us to focus on the substance of our work. A third-grade teacher once explained that when she decides where the kids are to sit in the classroom...
Views since 5/2014: 3,065
In principle, most conflicts are because of mismatched expectations. Where the expectations are really different the conflict can be really big. No one likes disappointment: when you think something is going to be one way, and then it changes. The best prevention is a shared expectation of how...
Views since 5/2014: 3,607

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