Facilitation in sociocracy

“Hey, my name is Ted and I teach facilitation in sociocracy. Good meetings are core and center because skilled facilitators can help the group be equals and move forward. Being heard and understood matters and creates a healthy and safe team culture.

Whether you’re preparing the agenda for a board meeting, your community or your team meeting, meeting facilitation is essential for any group.”

Facilitation sheet!

A sheet for facilitators

– everything on one page!

Spanish | Chinese | Danish | French | Polish | Swedish | Hebrew | Portuguese | Italian
Want to translate it? Contact [email protected] for an editable version.

See a real meeting 

Opening round

ca. 5 min

Check-in round. Everyone shares how they are entering the meeting

(A good chance for people to get to know you better!)

ADMIN

ca. 1 min

Making sure the circle is ready for the meeting:

  • Attendance (Who is here/absent? Roles filled?)
  • Duration (How long is this meeting?)
  • Minutes (Last meeting’s minutes ok?)
  • Info (any announcements outside of the circle’s domain?)
  • Next meeting (When are we meeting next? Or, who schedules?)

Consent to the agenda

ca. 1 min

  • Understand the agenda proposal
  • (Asking for reactions/additions if desired)
  • Consent/integrate objections to the agenda proposal

Agenda items

All agenda items, falling into one of the below categories

 

  • Reports → 
    e.g. reports from sub-circle or parent circle, reports on metrics
  • Explorations →
    e.g giving feedback, brainstorming, generating proposals
  • Decisions ↓
    e.g. policy decisions, selections processes, possibly significant operational decisions, policy reviews

(examples)

Update backlog

ca. 2 min

What needs to be added to the backlog for future meetings?

Check-out

ca. 5 min

Meeting evaluation, e.g. with regard to

  • content of the meeting
  • interpersonal dynamics
  • process

Facilitation classes online!

Online facilitation classes (3 x 2 hours).

Join an open class or book a facilitation class exclusively for your organization. 

The same level but in a video-based, self-paced format for groups. Groups of 4-8 people can practice together with a variety of scenarios and practice tips. 

For people with experience, or for those who would like to observe sociocracy in practice. Join us to play with facilitation scenarios. Find an upcoming session!

Meeting Posters

These posters are useful for meeting rooms to remember the basic patterns of Sociocratic meetings.
The transparency of a visible poster creates shared understanding and accountability to an agreed-upon format.

meeting format
Consent and generating proposals
Magic phrases: clarity, more ideas, forward motion, encourage rounds

If you’d like to print them all at once, use this pdf: high resolution posters.
Oh, and you can say thank you with a little donation.  

Do you want to translate them? Send an email to [email protected] and receive a no-text image to add your translations. 

Integrating objections

1. Understand

2. Explore

3. Synthesize

Ask the objector to state the objection
Allow for clarifying questions

 

Reaction round(s):
How do you relate to the objection?
Do you have ideas for amendments?

Possible strategies:

  1. modify the proposal
  2. shorten the term
  3. measure the concern (more info)

 

Synthesize amendments into the proposal
and go back to consent round
Fictional examples
(full process)

Featured Resources on Meeting Facilitation

Lazy Consent: Care and Power

Lazy Consent: Care and Power

Consent and Lazy Consent In sociocracy, the default decision-making method is consent. Consent is clearly defined as “no objections”, and objections are defined as “a measurable concern that carrying out the proposal at hand will have a negative impact on our group’s...

Bringing wisdom into today’s governance models

Bringing wisdom into today’s governance models

Watch the full webinar about bringing wisdom from the past and the future into today’s governance models and see how ancestral values connect with sociocracy. The Iroquois Confederacy is considered by many to be the world’s oldest living participatory democracy –...

How (not) to side-track a meeting

How (not) to side-track a meeting

It’s easy to get lost or side-tracked in a meeting! Here’s How (not) to side-track a meeting … or at least how to find your way back pretty fast! Below is a list of typical behaviors that slow down meetings. They are common. They are wide-spread and omnipresent. Learn...

The language of collaboration

The language of collaboration

What can natural languages teach us about self-governance? Maybe governance is to collaboration what language is to communication.

What matters more, product or process? 

What matters more, product or process? 

Some people want to make progress. Some want to focus on good process. This article describes the typical mindset patterns in managing those two desires and energies.

How to run an engaging board meeting

How to run an engaging board meeting

Want a board meeting that is clear and engaging? This article offers a template that helps you prepare and run a refreshing and productive board meeting!

Using Sociocracy for Decision-Making in Social Services and Medical Care

Presentation by Norma Wassel Medical and human services are routinely delivered in a hierarchical system with rigid roles of authority. This results in a process that often disempowers staff as well as the individuals and families receiving assistance. How can we implement Sociocracy in these systems? With case examples! 

Sociocracy as a solution for succession and organizational effectiveness – NGO case

Presentation by Irena Kaszewska. Description: Szarża is a horse riding association with a 35-year history. It has always based on volunteer work, creating a unique community, inclusive and active. With a growing scale of operations, the ad-hoc and intuitive management style of volunteers started to be insufficient. Sociocracy, piloted on a small scale, proved to be just the right solution. We are now at the brink of full-scale implementation, aware of many challenges, and full of hopes. 

The day I consented to a proposal I hated

The day I consented to a proposal I hated

It was yet another Thursday morning 7.30am – our weekly support circle meeting in Sociocracy For All with 3 staff people present. We were all stretched thin. The last few months had been a phase of wild growth, and although exciting and wonderful, the constantly evolving roles and processes had been wearing on us.

Getting to consent

A presentation about what consent decision making is, how to get there and what to do if there is no consent.

Pop-up sociocracy

Pop-up sociocracy

How can you use sociocracy for a small project? How can you use it for a group that is just starting out and not ready to adopt a whole system?

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