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
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
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!
How can we use sociocracy in everyday life? How is it useful to interactions, for example, with your kids, your partners, your neighbor?
A booklet for teachers who want to try out sociocratic elections with children. By Lisa Praeg
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.
A schematic few of performance reviews
Difference between unanimous and consent decisions
Different kinds of rounds.
Policy process, step by step
Operational meeting, schematically.
Selection process, schematically.
Meeting sheet from the handbook Many Voices One Song.
Click to open a high-resolution sheet!
Different ranges of tolerance overlap and give more room for common ground.
An infographic on preferences, range of tolerance and objections based on the aim
A poster showing the sociocratic meeting format
A poster on the consent process for policy
A recording of an improvised demonstration of the entire process of picture forming/ proposal shaping, consent process and integrating an objection looks like.