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 info@sociocracyforall.org 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 info@sociocracyforall.org 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

Decision-making methods: a comparison

Decision-making methods: a comparison

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 myth of natural flow

The myth of natural flow

Why we can’t pretend “just talking” will not be oppressive. Let’s talk about structures that truly liberate us.

Keeping meetings short

Keeping meetings short

Long meetings are a pain. Let’s make them shorter. Here are the tools that sociocracy has to offer.

Everyday sociocracy

Everyday sociocracy

How can we use sociocracy in everyday life? How is it useful to interactions, for example, with your kids, your partners, your neighbor?

Range of tolerance

An infographic on preferences, range of tolerance and objections based on the aim

Meeting clip: Generating a proposal

A recording of an improvised demonstration of the entire process of picture forming/ proposal shaping, consent process and integrating an objection looks like.

Meeting clip: objections

Recording from a practice session on integrating objections. This is a fully improvised example.