Agile DenkWerkstatt #22 – Wir entscheiden gemeinsam

đŸ’Ș Entscheidungen, die gemeinsam entwickelt und getragen werden, sind qualitativ und kraftvoll. Es fließen vielfĂ€ltige Perspektiven & Erfahrungen ein und das Engagement und die Eigenverantwortung der Beteiligten werden gefördert.

🌎 Zunehmende KomplexitĂ€t, technologischer Fortschritt & globale Vernetzung tragen dazu bei, dass die Notwendigkeit gemeinsamer Entscheidungen rapide wĂ€chst.

💭 In der Agilen DenkWerkstatt #22 beschĂ€ftigten wir uns am Montag den 25. September mit der Frage, was es braucht und wie wir gemeinsame Entscheidungen in der Praxis unterstĂŒtzen können.

💎 Soziokratie-Expertin Anja Sagara Ritter hat uns dazu das Konsent-Modell vorgestellt & praktisch mit uns durchgefĂŒhrt.

🚀 Die Aufgabe war es, sich fĂŒr eine/n Teilnehmer/in zu entscheiden, welche/r einen persönlichen Bericht ĂŒber diese Veranstaltung schreibt. Die Entscheidung viel auf Hien, die das erste Mal bei einer Veranstaltung der Digitalen Initiativen dabei war und diese Aufgabe sehr gerne angenommen und einen tollen Bericht in Englisch geschrieben hat:

Introduction

Rarely do you come across an event that not only reshapes thinking but also fundamentally alters the way groups make decisions.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending such an event that provided us with an entirely new perspective on the art of Consent Decision Making.

In a world where getting everyone to agree on something can be a real headache, this event was like a secret doorway to a cool new way of working things out.

It’s not only about making peace between different ideas but also about changing how we team up and make choices together.

I came across the event through Meet-Up, and it took place at the premises of the „Digital Initiatives“ association. Self-service beverages were available, and everyone had access to Wi-Fi. The chairs were arranged in a circle, so we all sat in a round formation..

The evening kicked off with a super fun icebreaker game.  We were divided into pairs and given the task of creating a fanciful word that captured the essence of decision-making and cooperation. The energy and laughter generated by this icebreaker set the vibe for the rest of the evening, creating a cozy and friendly atmosphere in which we were eager to learn more about the Consent Method and actively engage in the discussions.

Principles of Consent Decision-making

Anja introduced us to the Consent Method, a decision-making approach that prioritizes consent over majority rule.

It promotes open communication, active listening, and the resolution of concerns within a group to reach decisions acceptable to all members.

This method is characterized by its circular structure, fostering equal participation, and encouraging continuous improvement through feedback and adaptation.

Practicing it together

The moderation of the Consent Method follows a pre-defined and structured process to ensure that all participants have the opportunity to contribute their opinions. Here’s an overview of the steps in this process:

  • Explaining the goal / task
    Every Consent Method session starts with an introduction of a task. After Anja explained the method, the hosts, as well as the task owners, introduced the question for practice during the event. The task was to find a suitable person to write a personal review of this event.
  • Information Round and Clarifying Questions
    After introducing the task, anyone can ask questions to clarify the goals and standards of the personal review. It begins with someone in the group having a chat with the task owner to kick things off. Then, one by one, everyone else in the circle takes their turn. It’s essential to note that this phase is solely for gathering information, not for sharing personal opinions. This promotes the collection of relevant data and creates a shared understanding of the problem or issue.
  • First Opinion Round
    Now, it gets interesting because this is where we dive into the opinions. Again, starting with anyone in the circle, each person briefly expresses their agreement, doubts, and arguments regarding the question. Crucially, no debates with other group members occur; the person shares their opinion without engaging in discussions.
  • Second Opinion Round
    After everyone’s had their say in the first round, we circle back to check if anyone’s changed their mind after hearing the others. Sometimes, aspects are brought up in the first round that nobody else had considered, and they’re crucial to factor in. Similarly, no discussions should arise between individual participants. If needed, we might do a third round rather than slipping into side chats.
  • Consent (no major objections) or Addressing Concern
    After the opinion rounds, we hit the big question in a quickfire round: „Any major objections?“ If no red flags are raised, if it’s a „No,“ then we’re good to go – everyone’s on board. But if there were objections earlier, the moderator might take an idea from the group or propose a modified version of the original question for a vote. If objections come up again, we return to either the information or opinion rounds. We keep repeating this process until we arrive at a decision that everyone is cool with, or at least nobody is super against.
  • Announcing the Decision
    After all concerns and objections have been discussed, and consensus has been reached, the moderator announces the decision. This decision should be accepted by all participants, or at least there should be no significant resistance.

Moderating these steps requires patience, leadership, and the ability to maintain a positive and respectful conversation atmosphere. There are often questions and opinions raised as a participant speaks. Nevertheless, all other participants must wait their turn to contribute. I found this aspect particularly valuable, as it eliminated side-discussions in small groups and ensured a focused and orderly discussion rather than scattered conversations.

As I navigated through the session, I felt an unmistakable sense of commitment to the debate. In this well-organized setting, I had the chance to express my thoughts, likes, and worries, and I knew that they mattered when it came to making decisions. Experiencing this sense of being included and respected was truly energizing.

Once we had a clear understanding of our task goals, we also defined specific criteria for selecting the right person to write a personal review of our event in our next consent session. With our criteria set, we moved on to the final consent session. This is where we voted on who would be the lucky person to take on the role of the event reviewer. Our decision-making process was transparent and respectful, making sure that everyone’s input was considered.

Using the consent method for both defining the criteria and picking the reviewer really brought us together. It showed how effective this approach can be in making choices that align with everyone’s values and objectives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the event that introduced us to the Consent Decision Making method was an eye-opening experience. We learned how to make decisions as a group while valuing each member’s input. Looking ahead, I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned in the workshop to my professional journey. This innovative approach to decision-making has the potential to revolutionize the way we work together and make choices that genuinely reflect our shared values and goals.

During the workshop, I actively engaged with fellow participants, and these interactions proved to be highly valuable. The circular seating arrangement fostered open and equitable communication, creating an environment where everyone’s input was valued. During and after the event I established meaningful connections with professionals in the agile project management and decision-making field, leading to inspiring conversations and discussions about the practical application of the Consent Method in various professional contexts. These interactions not only deepened my understanding of the approach but also provided fresh perspectives and potential ideas for integrating it into my role as a Technical Project Manager.

A big shoutout to Anja, the hosts, and everyone who attended the event! I had an incredible and insightful evening where I not only had a great time but also learned a lot. I’m the fortunate one who got the chance to write a review for this awesome event. It’s a real honor for me to contribute to the club. I must say, the Digital Initiatives Club is an excellent place to meet wonderful people after work. I highly recommend checking out their events on the Meetup app and joining in on the fun!


Herzlichen Dank an alle Teilnehmenden fĂŒr alle die BeitrĂ€ge, Inputs, Fragen und den offenen und sehr anregenden Austausch 👏

Ein riesengroßes Dankeschön an Anja ✹, die diesen wunderbaren und sehr praxisnahen Workshop mit uns durchgefĂŒhrt hat.

✹siehe auch Anja Ritter – Soziokratie unternehmen Vorarlberg (anja-ritter.at)

Und einen herzlichen Dank an Hien ✹, die den obigen erstklassigen Bericht geschrieben hat.