Re: Double linking
From: Jerry Koch-Gonzalez (
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2018 10:01:52 -0800 (PST)
Here at Pioneer Valley Cohousing, we have been operating with sociocracy
for 6 years. We do have double links (a leader and a representative) from
our core circles to the coordinating (general) circle. And I do think that
is important for the flow of clear information - not dependent on one
person's perspective. The subcircles to the core circles often do not have
double links and some even just have a liaison who does not attend meetings
of both the parent circle and the child circle. That is Ok for the reasons
others have named: there is so much possibility for feedback in the
informal contact of people who live together who each serve the community
in multiple roles. We do use the selection process for the leaders and
delegates we do have and I think that is important because it is an avenue
of feedback. Too many communities I have seen are feedback deserts, perhaps
because of shyness, fear of conflict of fear of intimacy, just plain lack
of practice. This limits their ability to change and grow.
And we still have whole community meetings but they are no longer filled up
with arguments about decisions. At our whole community meeting yesterday we
had three items. One was a decision that is still in the domain of the
whole community - accepting a winterbird's plan to rent their house for
four months. That decision was easily made because the criteria for such
decisions have been previously consented to and the whole process is
well-supported by our Membership Circle. The second item was to give
feedback to Building & Grounds Circle about the possibility of building
carports. No decision, just a chance to name our questions, concerns and
hopes (picture forming in sociocracy language). And the third item was
having two people in "hot seat." They each said a few things about
themselves and then answered questions about their lives from the rest of
us. Very sweet energy of getting to know each better.
Pioneer Valley Coho Amherst MA

On Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 4:58 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > On Dec 7, 2018, at 1:01 PM, Cheron Dudley <cherondudley [at]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Our governance system of Sociocracy calls for “double-linking”.
> > We are a group of 28 households...42 people...and I’d like to know if
> other
> > sociocratic groups find double-linking to be necessary. Do you find it a
> > help or a burden
> The purpose of double linking is to form a feedback loop between two
> circles in such a way that each circle has to pay attention to the other.
> They have to pay attention to feedback.
> My question about double links in cohousing is whether feedback isn’t
> built into the daily lives of the group. But of course this depends on the
> daily conversation in a particular community. With meals, email, and
> bumping into each other, there is lots of opportunity for feedback. And the
> level of comfort is usually such that people will raise issues and freely
> protest if they aren’t listened to. If that is not true, formal double
> links may be beneficial.
> The other issue with double links in cohousing is that there are so many
> teams and working groups that everyone would be in meetings all the time.
> Double links with the major teams and the board or coordinating circle
> might be important if your board makes any decisions. But board meetings do
> give an opportunity for team leaders to share information. So at that level
> they are likely to be helpful.
> Some groups are trying to eliminate full group meetings. Without full
> group meetings, I think double links would be important. But when I think
> of our committee composition, there are so many overlaps  and so few policy
> decisions that a formal double link wouldn’t add anything.
> Takoma Village is not sociocratic in the sense that we haven’t formally
> adopted it, but we use the same definitions for consent and all decisions
> are made by consent. We have a hierarchy of decision-making so with lack of
> consent, decisions rise to the full group meetings when they can’t be
> resolved in teams.
> We don’t use the election process. People choose responsibilities
> according to their own interests. This would be seen as unwise in
> sociocracy because the “volunteer” may not be the best person for the job.
> What happens is that that person does what they believe should be done, and
> usually they either drop out when things don’t work out, or another working
> group forms to take up the slack. We do have members who are capable and
> responsible in the areas of fiscal responsibility, legal issues, etc.
> 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
> In Spanish:  ISBN: 978-0-9792827-4-4 (eBook)
> In Portuguese:  ISBN: 978-0-9792827-5-1 (eBook)
> In Korean (under contract)
> _________________________________________________________________
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Jerry Koch-Gonzalez  413-687-5444
, Sociocracy For All <> and  New England NVC
Founding Resident, Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community

To talk to me about sociocracy or NVC, go here:

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