Re: How many community meetings to make a decision?
From: Ted J Rau (
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2021 06:41:26 -0700 (PDT)
In my community, most decisions are made in committees, not in the
all-member meetings (following sociocracy process).

Therefore, each committee (aka circles) meets as often as they see fit, and
it can be different for each circle, like every 2 weeks, or every 4 or 8
weeks. It can also change over time - for example, "my" circle met more
often during high-stress covid time to make sure we understand
implications; other circles met less often during that time.

One general frame that might be useful even for groups that don't
decentralize decisions like sociocracy does is this and that I each in my
facilitation classes is this. Every time there's an issue, there are three

   - Understanding what the issue even is: Who is upset about what? What's
   not working? Does this need a decision, or is some listening and/or
   feedback enough? This can enter into an agreed-upon statement of how we
   understand the issue we're trying to solve.
   - Exploration of solutions: We enter a process of generating policy. We
   use 3 sub-steps here (a) writing up dimensions to find headlines for ideas
   (b) gathering of ideas of what we could do (c) synthesizing the ideas into
   a proposal. Then ready for the next step!
   - Decision: making a decision about the proposal we co-created.

Of course one can do them all in one go but a "sane" pace is to take it one
step per meeting. *So even a big policy decision can be made in 3 meetings
and solved together*, especially if there's work done between meetings
(extra listening, sending out drafts etc).

In sociocracy, even though the process might be held by one circle, the
all-member meeting can give input into the steps, on whichever step(s) it
might be most useful. So for example, the circle could do meeting #1 (and
generate a description statement of the issue) and run it by others; then
ask for input for meeting #2 and synthesize those ideas in the circle
meeting; then #3 would be the decision. The back and forth between small
group-large group can be a very powerful dance, and it's the reason
decisions in small groups can still include the input from a lot of people.

On Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 12:14 AM Hafidha Sofia <hafidhaao [at]> wrote:

> I would echo much of what Muriel said. And add: self governance is time
> intensive, and the more activities or work we do, the more planning and
> communication time required… most meetings are either for info sharing
> about a thing that’s going on or for planning a thing we want to happen.
>  Songaia has a monthly ”house” aka community meeting that has a set agenda
> related to the community’s state of affairs; those meetings are organized
> by a committee (which meets monthly to set the agenda).
> And then there’s a second monthly meeting called the community circle that
> has a very flexible format and wide range of topics; circles generally
> provide space for ongoing community praxis and skill building — usually
> related to communication, conflict, trust, etc. We might skip 1-3 circles
> per year (esp in summer) but we don’t skip house meetings.
> Our community is very active and does a lot so there are many committees
> and task forces of 3-12 people who need to meet anywhere from weekly to
> twice a year to keep the community running, to foster communication, to
> plan celebrations, to manage facilities, and to handle the legal and
> financial affairs.
> We also have round tables, which are optional, but a way for topics and
> solutions to be explored and temperature checks taken. For example, we had
> round tables recently to talk about how we felt about covid precautions
> post vaccines.
> Separate from that is groups that gather for an activity or identity, like
> the meditation group, women’s group, people of color group, book study
> groups, etc.
> I moved to a cohousing community in part so i wouldn’t need to drive
> anywhere to have a rich social life. 😁
>  Hafidha
> Songaia, WA
> 2017-2021
> now an associate (non resident) member
> > On Jul 13, 2021, at 7:55 PM, Maggi R. <librarymaggi [at]> wrote:
> >
> > 
> > How many meetings does your community have each month? How many meetings
> does it typically take to make a decision on a topic from beginning to end?
> > _________________________________________________________________
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