Re: consensus
From: Unnat (
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 17:23:05 -0600
Hello Stephanie and Coy,

>  I felt that consensus is not appropriate for all
> decisions the group must make, but when asked to come up with
> examples, I came up pretty empty-handed.

Rob Dandelion has examples which may be found in the archives.
Or join the Communication Aids discussion via Rob.
Or contact Rob.

> and that only in extreme emergencies should any other means of
> deciding be used.

I see consensus as a tool/technique/approach to REALLY listening to each
other.  And I support it!  However I rarely see it used well - so I am
cautious about recommending it's absolute use.  Waiting for an emergency
to be able to use anything else seems a bit extreme. Over time, having
developed and appreciated an understanding of each other's perspectives,
some decisions (usually needed quickly and not major ones) can be made
with a couple of 'phone calls. 

> Another topic that generated a lot of debate was who can participate
> in the consensus process and at what levels.

This may be naive (anyone?) but in Pinakarri, anyone within the ballpark
of the common vision is welcome to contribute to the discussion, however
she/he/they can't block consensus on a decision which affects only a
particular proportion of the group.
e.g.,  the non-resident community contributes fully in tenants/residents
housing issues - they bring compassion and perspective;
the rental non equity tenants contribute to private equity discussions
offering care and context;
however in each case, consensus can only be blocked by those who are
directly affected.

> any words of wisdom here would be greatly appreciated.

I wish.
But hope this helps.

Warmest regards,
Robyn Williams
Pinakarri Community
Fremantle, Western Australia

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