Topics for Mini-lessons on Consensus Process
Some groups, including the board, occasionally make time for a mini-lesson in consensus topics at meetings. The intention is to help the entire group become more skilled in the process. These are some potential topics for future lessons.
- Beyond the stack: other ways facilitators guide conversation
- Understanding others' concerns (Basically, listening techniques. The quick moral of this one is: the point is less to defend your point and "win" than to understand the other's position and concern and make sure it's addressed.)
- Preparing to present
- What's a clarifying question?
- Pulling together an agenda (whose responsibility, how to add things, how to structure one)
- Subcommittees (when to create them, giving authority, reporting back, dissolving them - or not)
- What to do if you don't feel understood
- Capturing conversation in the minutes
- Brainstorming (when it's appropriate, basic groundrules)
- Stand asides vs. blocks
- When to call the question
- Basic flow of consensus decision (see QIS cards)
- How to extend a meeting (or not!)