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
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...
What can natural languages teach us about self-governance? Maybe governance is to collaboration what language is to communication.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Sociocracy was developed with small groups in mind. When and how can we apply it to large groups?
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.
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.
A consent process accepting a new member into a circle with clarifying questions, quick reactions and consent.
Example of a quick report to a circle from its parent circle
Example of a selection process
Picture forming and proposal shaping and – almost – towards a decision. Also shows how to formally postpone a decision.
A quick checklist to make sure the circle is ready to start a meeting
Jerry Koch-Gonzalez leading a group through a selection process.
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?
What’s an objection, and what do we do with it? The good news is that objections are a good thing!
SoFA colleague Chen explaining not only feelings, needs and strategies but also the harder part – overcoming the adversarial story and expanding willingness
Stop overthinking. Start doing. Improve from there.
The way we come to a decision has a lot of influence on how people behave, how many voices can be heard, how they feel about the group they are a part of and what quality decision is going to be made. The pros and cons of autocratic decision-making, voting, consensus and consent.
The sociocratic meeting format