|Consensus and inclusion||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)|
|Date: Thu, 12 Jan 95 10:56 CST|
There is an interesting process issue developing within my community which I would like to pass around to those of you doing consensus decision making. At Sharingwood we have always operated by the idea that if you do not attend a meeting where a decision is made, unless you give your voice to another member, you give up your opportunity to be a part of the decision. Consensus on the other hand is where the full acceptance of a decision of every member is required and needed in order to move on the decision. One of the things which has surfaced now a couple of times is that members who were NOT at a meeting where a decision was made, later had a problem with the decision and we had to go back and deal with it, either in person with the individual or at a meeting. We publish decisions to be made at the meetings in the newsletter or in a handout which is distributed to everyone so members know in advance what is being decided at a meeting. Our process is assuming that people not attending the meeting know about and are in agreement with the decision. I am beginning to think that when members are not present at a meeting where a consensus decision is reached by those present, that they should be personally contacted and asked if they also "do not have an unacceptable level of conflict" to use the Sharingwood jargon, before we determine that we have reached consensus. Or to put this another way if 5 people out of 23 show up for a meeting and make a consensus decision, is it really a consensus decision? I would say Clearly not. OK, now roll the numbers the other way, if 18 people out of 23 show up for a meeting and make a consensus decision is it really a consensus decision? If you say yes in the second case - why? If we move ahead without the full participation of EVERYONE, in the name of efficiency, is it consensus or is it a majority vote disguised as consensus? What if someone is pissed off about the issue and doesn't attend the meeting because they are feeling pissed off and disfranchised? Is it still consensus? Yikes, look at all those worms squirming in the can! As always, your thoughts and advise on this would be appreciated. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood
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