RE: Consensus Decision Making
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 21:23:54 -0700 (MST)
Roger asked:

This discussion, however, is incomplete without discussing how to revisit a
consensus decision.  By the time an actual decision is made, many folks have
a lot invested, both in time and emotion, in that decision.  The last thing
they want to do is to open up the discussion again.  But what if that
decision turns out to be wrong, or needs tweeking, or affects the community,
or even an individual, in some unforeseen way?  How can we get folks to let
go of their stubbornness long enough to consider changing a difficult

One the easiest ways around this is to instill in the group a sense of
experimentation, be willing to try it out and see. You will have to make
many decisions based on little information and it is good to let a period of
time elapse, gather together what you have learned, and then revisit the
decision. So, setup the decision as a trial, we will try this for (x months)
and then this decision expires and we have to renew it. This "sunset clause"
allows many people who are afraid of the consequences to be assured that the
decision is not permanent and they can try it out for awhile. This is a very
common compromise when you are stuck on a decision that people are afraid to
make. A good facilitator can encourage and cheerlead the group to allow the
group to try it out, for awhile and see what you learn.

Rob Sandelin
Northwest Intentional Communties Association
Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.