Re: Questions to ask when someone blocks a decision
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 14:03:05 -0700 (PDT)
> Maybe the question to ask when someone blocks is: why aren't we
> using sociocracy?

Well, there are lots of reasons why people don’t. Formed communities rarely 
change unless there is a crisis. And people think it requires professional 
intervention. As process-minded as many cohousers are, they are also stingy 
about paying for training. Or even accepting training if someone does get “an 
appropriations bill passed.” And training is often an unknown — you don’t know 
if the trainer will sync with your group and vice versa.

One reason for reading We the People is to see how the process of consensus is 
discussed and explained. What does cybernetics, for example have to do with it.

How the practice of rounds keeps a meeting balanced and expects everyone to 

How to delegate decisions and still maintain consensus between teams and the 

Why “block" has nothing to do with consent and objections. Decision-making is a 
time for artistry, not a power grab.

That the circle structure is the only governance method designed to work with 
consensus decision-making. Everything else is a patchwork.

Communities don’t have to sign on as sociocracies in order to learn from the 
principles and practices. 

Outcomes are more important than specific practices and techniques. Some 
communities have been been turned off by the mechanistic structure and “rules”. 
Sociocracy is not a recipe. It is a set of principles and practices that have 
been found to produce more harmonious groups. And harmony leads to greater 
effectiveness and less drained energy.

I refer you not only to We the People which is now in its much enlarged second 
edition, but also to a list of suggestions for applying the principles 
sociocracy in any group. This is on the website and also 
included in the current edition of the book.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
Coauthor with John Buck of
"We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy” 2nd Edition

Print: ISBN: 978-0979282737
Digital: ISBN 978-0979282720

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