Tools for Consensus


  • Meeting Procedure:
    • Before meeting:
      • Choose a facilitator.
      • Gather agenda items.
      • Delegate responsibilty for each item.
      • Divide into reports/decisions/anouncements.
      • Bring materials/supplies needed.
    • At meeting:
      • Connect (game, song, ritual, etc.).
      • Check-in/excitement sharing.
      • Review agenda items.
        • prioritize.
        • set times.
      • Choose roles (if not already).
        • facilitator.
        • vibeswatcher (or caretaker).
        • notetaker.
        • timekeeper.
      • Go through agenda.
        • easy items first (reports, then decisions).
    • Facilitation techniques:
      • decision-making process.
      • discussion, problem solving tools.
      • conflict, stress resolution techniques.
    • Announcements.
    • Set next meeting.
    • Evaluation.
    • Closing.
  • Role of Facilitator:
    • Watches content of meeting.
    • May formulate agenda (beforehand).
    • Calls on speakers.
    • Helps group to:
      • clarify issues.
      • focus discussion.
      • prioritize.
      • bring out all viewpoints.
      • look for underlying agreement.
      • synthesize differences.
    • Restates proposals.
    • Formalizes decisions.
    • Equalize participation.
      • draws out quiet people.
      • limit talkers.
    • Uses facilitation techniques.
    • Stays neutral while facilitating.
  • Role of Vibeswatcher:
    • Watches the process of meeting.
    • Senses underlying feelings.
      • check body language and tone of voice.
    • Stops bad process.
      • prevent domineering, guilt trips, interrupting, space-outs, insults.
    • Helps resolve conflict.
    • Helps work out negative emotions.
    • Suggests tools to improve meeting.
    • Sets an accepting tone.
    • Deals with distractions.
  • Problem Solving Tools:
    • Brainstorms
    • Go-rounds
    • Small group discussions
    • Pairs/triads
    • Feeling sharing
    • Fishbolws
    • Roleplays
    • Participation equalizers
    • Evaluations (during and end)
    • Visual aids
    • Prioritization techniques
    • Strategy development
  • Conflict Resolution Tools:
    • Matching and pacing
    • Active listening exercises
    • Fishbowls
    • Modelling of opposite viewpoints
    • Gripes session
    • Resentment sharing
    • Criticism/self criticism
  • Stress Reduction Techniques:
    • Feeling sharing
    • Singing
    • Humor
    • Affirmation
    • Calm voice
    • Deep breathing
    • Silence
    • Back rubs
    • Eye contact
    • Breaks, games
  • Brainstorm Principles:
    In a brainstorm, the group thinks together, like one collective brain. In and of itself, therefore, it is a good way to appreciate our neural inter-connectedness and synergy.
    • Say whatever occurs to you that is relevant to the question.
    • Don’t explain or defend your ideas.
    • Don’t judge or discuss the ideas of others.
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