|Conflict Resolution||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: mbishop (mbishopasf.com)|
|Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 18:29:03 -0600|
Thank you very much for the continued input on this thread. I have been listening carefully and reading about formal consensus. I have moved further down the road of enlightenment so my questions have shifted. First, I will attempt to concisely summerize what I have learned or at least what my newly formed opinions are, then I have another quesiton for you. 1. I am just about convinced that consensus and majority vote are fundamentally incompatible and a formal process to fall back to a majority vote on a proposal is not in the best interest of the group. 2. No formal consensus process can improve on strong commitment, right skill, right attitude and commonality of principals of the individuals to consensus in the group. 3. Blocking consensus is blocking consensus but it is not a dirty word, evil, or a bad thing. Conflict needs to be encouraged. 4. People have and will attempt to use the consensus proces for reasons counter to the interest of the group as a whole. It is in the interest of the group to have a formal group process that is invulnerable to this abuse. 5. A successful consensus processes requires, at minimum, a skilled facilitator. And preferably, most people in the group need to be skilled at facilitation and understand the intent and philosophy behind the consensus process. (I believe training process for new members is required or highly recommended. After a group jump start with formal training, I think a training plan based on a buddy system sounds like the right way to go. What do you think?) 6. A Parliamentary process or majority vote process is counter to building community. The focus is on the vote. Consensus is symbiotic to building community. The focus is on the interest of the individuals as a member of a group. This is the same focus for building and maintaining community. 7. In consensus, it is the responsibility of the individual to raise concerns. It is the responsibility of the group to resolve those concerns. It is the responsibility of the individual to either consent, step aside to allow consensus, or block consensus based on group principals and values. It is the responsibility of the group to decide on the legitimacy of the blocked consensus. 8. If the group thinks that the reason for the blocked consensus is based on the principals of the group, then consensus is blocked. Period. Perhaps the principals and values of the group need to be re-evaluated or further clarified. On the other hand, if a majority of the group think that the reason for blocking consensus is not based on group principals, then the individual non-consent is not recognized as blocking consensus. 9. Particularly for us that are less skilled in communication (and perhaps less self awareness), the real issue behind blocked consensus is often not the initial issue stated. It takes some time, caring, and technique to get to the real issue. A formal consensus process needs to allow, promote, and encourage an environment for the real issues to come to the surface. With this new knowledge in my head, I am now pondering on this proposal: If consensus is felt to be blocked by an individual or a minority, any member can call the group to proceed to a vote. However, the vote is not on the adoption of the proposal blocked. Instead, the vote is on whether the blocked consensus is legitimate. Calling to proceed to a vote means the following: ? At least one meeting is held with the only agenda of determining the real concerns behind the blocked consensus and the legitimacy of those concerns. It is not the intent of the meeting to persuade the minority to the majority view. A skilled unbiased facilitator is recommended. ? With this new knowledge, at least one meeting is held with the only agenda of discussing and deciding on the proposal. ? If consensus is still blocked (with the same block), a meeting is held to decide on the legitimacy of the blocked consensus. This is done with an outside facilitator. At the end of the meeting the members vote where more than 25% for legitimacy blocks the proposal. Otherwise, the concern is not legitimate and does not block consensus of the group. What are the guidelines for legitimacy needs further thought. Please poke at this. Thanks.
- Conflict Resolution, (continued)
- Re: Conflict Resolution Kevin Wolf, December 4 1998
- Re: Conflict Resolution Stevenson/Bitner, December 5 1998
- Conflict Resolution mbishop, December 7 1998
- Re: Conflict Resolution James Nordgaard, December 10 1998
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