Re: Consensus as primrary decision-making method w/voting back-up
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:33:55 -0800 (PST)
On Jan 14, 2013, at 11:19 AM, "Lautner, Patricia" <Patricia.Lautner [at]> wrote:

> the facilitator would not allow the block and most likely a conflict 
> resolution session would get scheduled.

Unless the facilitator is explicitly chosen to take this role, I think it is 
important that the membership makes this decision. In sociocracy the 
facilitator is elected and is given this role. Any member can then object to 
the facilitator's decision except the member whose participation is under 

> To me, it seems like the dog member is worried that her fears won't be 
> validated and respected, and that her very real and profound emotional needs 
> will not get met by her neighbors.   She does not trust her community's 
> process.

We have had several occasions with one member who relented on her objections in 
several instances because someone was kind and helpful to her on totally 
unrelated things she needed. She also responds well to someone just talking to 
her about her objection. The attention required is often tiresome because it is 
a pattern, but so far so good.

We have also had good success when someone seemed to have an unreasonable 
objection or preference in having the facilitator or a friend talk to them 
after the meeting.

I think this works less well and is counter productive when someone has an 
objection that is based on reasonable concerns about the proposed action. 
Unless all the members concerned with the issue hear the reasons for the 
objection _and_ how they are worked out it could result in an unsustainable 

There is also the issue I have raised before that we question objections when 
one or two people hold them but we assume the majority is "right." I think we 
should question the basis for consent more often. 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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