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.”
See a real meeting
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!)
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
- 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
ca. 2 min
ca. 5 min
- content of the meeting
- interpersonal dynamics
Facilitation classes online!
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.
Allow for clarifying questions
How do you relate to the objection?
Do you have ideas for amendments?
- modify the proposal
- shorten the term
- measure the concern (more info)
and go back to consent round
Featured Resources on Meeting Facilitation
We understand difficult situations in meetings better if we take a systemic view of organizations and see incidents as indicators for the whole culture. Find a list of what’s underneath the moment you see.
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!
Meeting time is lifetime shared with others. How do we share this resources well? This article highlights Prosocial’s Core Design Principles with the example of meeting time as a common pool resource and shows how sociocratic tools help share time in a collaborative way.
Sociocracy was developed with small groups in mind. When and how can we apply it to large groups?
I’m in virtual meetings every day. Here is what I love about them!
A presentation about what consent decision making is, how to get there and what to do if there is no consent.
Stop overthinking. Start doing. Improve from there.
The sociocratic meeting format
Why we can’t pretend “just talking” will not be oppressive. Let’s talk about structures that truly liberate us.
Long meetings are a pain. Let’s make them shorter. Here are the tools that sociocracy has to offer.
The practical sociocracy handbook written by the co-founders of Sociocracy For All. 300 pages full of real-life support!
Preparing the agenda with all aspects of the circle. Diagram from the handbook Many Voices One Song.
Understand, explore, decide: different forms of agenda items.
Different kinds of rounds.
Meeting sheet from the handbook Many Voices One Song.
Screencast on our agenda and meeting minutes format and how to use it.
An explainer video on the consent process in sociocracy.
Picture forming and proposal shaping in an example
“Good enough” sounds like a low-level decision-making method. And yet, for some people, that’s not how they experience it. “Only” aiming for good enough can be a matter of respect and
Picture forming, proposal shaping and synthesis – a 3-step process to turn everyone’s ideas into a good proposal!
Making decisions by consent – step by step! Everything is clear, everyone has a chance to get on board.
Sociocratic selections (aka elections) are a great way to be intentional about who does what in your organization. Bonus: they are fun!
Using rounds helps giving everyone a voice without losing track of time. This article is a celebration of rounds!