Agreement Is Consensus

„The members of the Community first seek a unanimous consensus. However, when one or more people block the proposal, the blockers hold a series of solution-oriented meetings with one or two proponents of the proposal in order to develop a new proposal that will address the same issues as the original proposal. The new proposal will be presented at the next meeting, where it will probably be adopted. If no new proposals are made, the initial proposal will come at the next meeting for a super-majority of 75%, and it will probably happen. In 25 years at N Street Cohousing, this process has only taken place twice, with two solution-oriented meetings. Excerpt from Busting the Myth that Consensus-with-unanimitity is good for communities, 2012 In an ideal consensus process, there would be no blockage, as all major concerns about a proposal would have been noticed and addressed before moving on to the decision phase. The fact that someone feels the need to block a proposal means that something went wrong earlier in the process. However, this will happen sometimes, so the blocking option must be available. If you realize why and to what extent you work together, it is much easier to reach a consensus. If you don`t have enough common goals, you can instead work in multiple groups and work together on the points you agree on. Good consensual decisions take into account the feelings, needs, concerns of everyone in the group. At this point, it`s about taking the time to hear and share them, and get people`s different perspectives and ideas. A fundamental error in the way treaties are legally constructed is that it is never possible to prove with absolute certainty that the parties concerned had a real meeting of heads.

A systematic approach is usually the best way to determine each party`s intentions in relation to the terms of the contract in the event of a disagreement. The filter used is how the terms and intentions were expressed in deeds and words, how a reasonable person would understand them. Whether you are a national campaign network, a large workers` cooperative, a long-term community or a mass protest to make consensual decisions in a large group, involves its own challenges and rewards. The conditions for good consensus remain valid, but may be more difficult to achieve in a larger and more diverse group. Each phase of the consensus process may take longer and require a few special moderation tools….

09. September 2021 von Heiland
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