Re: Consensus Training
From: John Major (
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 10:22:36 -0600
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the "Little Yellow Book", entitled
"Making Meetings Work" - I forget the authors' names, but I have two
copies at home, and you can find it in most bookstores. It's been around
since the 70's, and originated the terms "facilitator" and "recorder", I
believe. I ran into it at a vegetarian coop restaurant first, then in a Civic
Arts Commission process, then ended up using it in three different work
environments in high tech! So it's pretty versatile, and VERY convincing
on the values of consensus, and how to get there - go dig it up.

As far as our group goes, I've noticed that the high level of trust we
have in each other goes a long way with achieving consensus (that's
why it didn't work very well at the restaurant, with a transient
population!). If you give ground now, you can have some faith that
someone will remember that later, and give to you when it is important. If
you think about it, traditional societies that worked with consensus had
many generations of trust and assumptions bound up in the process.

Good luck -
John Major
Wasatch Cohousing
Salt Lake City, where we just got final approval from the City Council,
after some parliamentary fiddling - whew! What high-anxiety stuff this
is... Full speed ahead...

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