Re: consensus and the greater good of the group
From: MollyW (
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 12:44:58 -0600
Hello, We in Cambridge Co-Housing are grappling with issues of how to do
consensus better and just what it is. One test I have used in OTHER sitiuations
is to ask, are the concerns brought forth from a principled position or from a
personal choice position? Personal preference choices usually are encouraged to
step aside, and we are interested in collecting ways to do that encouraging! The
facilitator or clerk can ask the concerned person if they are willing to step
aside and usually someone is willing and states so by saying, "I feel the sense
of the meeting is to move forward, I will not stand in the way..." I take
encoragement from the fact that groups get better at doing this as they know
each other's needs better...Molly
Subject: consensus and the greater good of the group
From:    cburmast [at] at Internet
Date:    2/3/97  12:49 PM

Hi folks: I'm on a committee at Liberty Village that is looking at how we
use consensus.  Our reference point is C.T. Butler's book on Conflict and
Consensus.  My question relates to how you go about deciding whether a
person's concerns about an issue are or are not related to the greater
good of the group or whether they represent individual preference,
possibly leading to that person standing aside. In many cases it is not
clear which it is, and much lengthy discussion ensues.  I'm wondering how
other groups handle this.  Does the decision about whether it is an
individual or group concern become another issue upon which consensus has
to be reached, does the individual him or herself get to determine that,
is there a vote,
etc., etc.

Thanks for your thoughts--

Carrie Burmaster
Liberty Village, where we have 18 and a half partners and are in the
process of changing our legal status to Limited Liability Company.

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