How Objections Speed Up Decision-Making
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:00:32 -0800 (PST)
One of the ways that the principles and methods used by sociocracy speed up 
decision-making is to go directly to the objections. The proposal should state 
the perceived advantages or reasons why. After clarifying questions, there is 
usually no need to hear arguments in favor or to repeat the discussion that has 
probably already taken place in the team or in previous membership meetings. 

Prequel:  In order to write an effective proposal, 

Decision-Making Process (often called the consent process)

1. Discuss or request input on the problem or opportunity involving everyone 
who will be affected by a proposed decision.

2. Present the proposal

3. Answer clarifying questions.

Questions should be clean questions with no embedded messages. If there is an 
embedded message, don't discuss it. Answer as if it had been a clean question 
or defer it for rounds.

4. Reaction round of 1-2 word responses to determine if there are any concerns 
or objections that seem unresolvable or serious.

t. Do another round to state concerns and objections in greater detail t:

(a) refer back them back committee or 

(b) to begin begin consent rounds to resolve them. 

5. Consent round asking if there are any remaining objections. Is this an 
objection that will influence your ability to support this decision?

Addressing concerns and resolving objections is a group process, not the duty 
of the facilitator. The facilitator makes a decision on how to proceed but this 
decision is subject to objections. 

The facilitator participates as an equal, including in rounds.

The goal is consent to a decision everyone can support operationally.

Effectiveness, transparency, and accountability are the prime values in this 
--What will get us to the most effective decision? 
--Does everyone have all the information relevant to this decision? 
--Who will be accountable for the outcome of the decision?

Discussion may be interspersed with rounds. Rounds establish and maintain 
equivalence in the room. They keep decision-making balanced by encouraging 
everyone to participate equally. The reticent as well as the more expansive. 
Discussion, free form or dialogue between 2 or more persons can be helpful to 
clarify questions or to provide information others in the group may not have. 

A proposal needs a person(s) to make a decision operational and a method of 
measuring outcomes. If there is no plan for making the decision operational or 
any way to measure effectiveness, the decision will probably be meaningless. 
Not worth the time to make.

Sharon Villines
Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy

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