Re: Questions to ask when someone blocks a decision
From: David Mencher (
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 20:46:56 -0700 (PDT)
Our (admittedly limited- we are still forming, but 4 year's worth)
experience has shown us that investment in preparing the membership for an
informed discussion and decision will go a long way to eliminate
adversity.  Providing balanced and easily digested source material relevant
to issues to be decided, and discussing member's thoughts and feelings in
view of the background material seems to help cut through much of the
prejudices and pre-formed opinions that accompany sessions devoted to
sticky issues.  And this is in a context (Israel) where people hold very
dearly to their opinions and are used to arguing.

Cohousing Israel

On 12 May 2018 at 00:02, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> wrote:

> > 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 contribute.
> How to delegate decisions and still maintain consensus between teams and
> the membership.
> 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
> ----
> 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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David Mencher

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