Re: Consensus decision making: blocking
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 09:01:58 -0700 (PDT)
One of the mistakes I see in cohousing groups is that they have a "blocking"
card as part of their meeting process, thus it is easy to block.  Another,
perhaps better way to proceed with the question of whether we have consensus
on this proposal is to ask, can you give permission for this proposal to
move ahead as it stands, or do you still have questions, issues or concerns.
I typically use a finger system with this question, show 1 finger for
permission, 2 fingers for issues, etc.  Then I focus on the people showing 2
fingers asking them for their issues and ideas.  Things are never really
blocked, but issues and questions do need processing before permission can
be given.

And notice that I do NOT use the word agree. Consensus is not about
agreement, the root word is consent which means give permission. It is
normal to give permission at times to things you might not agree with.  If
you define consensus as everyone must agree, then you are doing something
MUCH more difficult than consensus, you are doing unanimous agreement.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
Snohomish County,  WA

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