Consensus Mini Lessons

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Around the middle of 2006, the Council decided to begin each meeting with a 10-minute mini-lesson on the consensus process. The mini-lesson outlines may be recorded below. They're most likely based on the documentation we already have.

Lesson 1

  • Here's where the documentation lives Meeting Tips Scribe
    • If you think you know it already, add to it
    • It's helpful for everyone to know something about facilitation, because it eases the decision-making process.

Why do we use consensus?

See some documentation.


making the conversation go towards a conclusion, not just giving everyone a chance to speak
While it's important to air as many viewpoints as possible making decisions isn't always just about letting absolutely everyone speak/make things feel fair
There are tools for making this happen: queue/stack, summarizing the conversation, asking pointed questions, cutting people off
At Free Geek, many in the group often know how to facilitate, and they can help the current facilitator move things along
Catches the group up on the topic, and often presents a path to take to move forward
records the decisions so they may be referred to later
The scribe writes our history, so it's important that decisions are recorded correctly. Facilitators need to have the scribe read back proposals before final consensus is reached.
minutes checker
since it can be hard to capture the bent of a complex conversation and type simultaneously sometimes, we like to have someone check over the minutes for errors or misinterpretations before they're sent out.

Other Ideas

  • Decision-making structure (proposal, clarifying questions, etc.): role play
  • Meeting elements
  • Job of facilitator: before, during, after meeting
  • Define assent, stand aside, block
  • Impediments to consensus