Re: How Objections Speed Up Decision-Making
From: Jerry McIntire (
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2014 20:27:14 -0800 (PST)
Thanks for the summary Sharon, very helpful. I'll share it with our members
as we talk further about sociocracy.

Happy Holidays to all!


Jerry McIntire
Stone's Throw Ecovillage, in the heart of Wisconsin's beautiful Driftless

On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> 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. Instead:
> 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 process:
> --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
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy
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