Re: Consensus [was balance] - voting
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 09:41:47 -0800 (PST)
I really appreciated Rob's comment about consensus being a tool, not a

I think one of the things that hangs us up sometimes is that we sometimes
choose the wrong tool for a particular job.

Consensus is a great tool for certain kinds of decisions; but it is not
appropriate for all situations. When cohousers (or any other type of group,
really) adopt consensus as our main, whole-group decision-making tool, we
often assume that we have to make EVERY decision this way EVERY time without
thinking through if it is appropriate. We apply this one tool to every
situation, whether it fits or not. Then when it doesn't work, we blame the

I might sometimes use a knife to tighten a screw, for which it is not the
optimum tool but works in a pinch. If whatever I screwed together then falls
apart, should I then conclude that knives are useless tools?  Or feel like
I've failed when I have to do it over using a screwdriver?

Eris Weaver, Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
eris [at]

fa cil' i tāt: to make easier

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