Decision making, as part of a group process, has been a fascination and frustration in my journey. I have struggled in meeting with decisions based on one (or even the majority) perspective. I have also struggled in meetings with that decision, based in a consensus model, coming from the person (or minority) that is least accommodating. Along the way, I have been thrilled to find tools that empower everyone’s voice and harness the creative synergy of the group.
Participatory decision making is a requirement for collaboration. It is built on the foundation of agreement and in the context of interpersonal awareness and conscious communication. It is the dynamic process of a co-creative path.
I have worked with a variety of decision making models and have found the consent based process of Sociocracy (AKA Dynamic Governance) to be the most efficient in my experience. In contrast to autocratic or democratic models, it involves the voice of everyone to guide solutions that meet all needs. In contrast to consensus, it does not seek uniform agreement but solutions based on resolved objection, the sweet spot where our range of tolerances overlap. In contrast to other models, sociocracy cultivates equivalence and empowerment of all rather than the “power over” created by the leader, the majority, or the minority.
The decision making process of Sociocracy cultivates the “rule of the socios”, those in relation to to one another. It establishes policy by the consent of those most affected by the decision.