Date of publication: 2018-02-26 20:57
Resist the temptation to jump straight in with a proposal. Instead make some mental space to hear what other people think. If proposals are based on an understanding of everyone's needs and wants then it is much more likely that people will support it. Putting forward a proposal too early is rarely a short-cut in an important discussion! Instead, it can waste time with everyone debating the ins and outs of an option that was never going to work, because it wasn't based on full information about everyone's needs.
In the United States and Europe, switching from industrial to ecological agriculture has invariably caused an initial decline in yields. However, after a brief transition period of three to five years, ecological agriculture&rsquo s yields rebound to equal those of industrial agriculture, according to a 85-year study conducted by the Rodale Institute.
Consensus decision making is a creative and dynamic way of reaching agreement between all members of a group. Instead of simply voting for an item and having the majority of the group getting their way, a group using consensus is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports, or at least can live with. This ensures that all opinions, ideas and concerns are taken into account. Through listening closely to each other, the group aims to come up with proposals that work for everyone.
Get used to giving feedback. Boost morale by noticing when someone does something well, or is putting a lot of work in on group tasks. Equally, try to be open when you are disappointed or frustrated by what someone has done. Talking about issues when they first arise can prevent bad feelings building up, and limit misunderstanding.
Clearly state the final proposal and check that everyone fully understands what is being proposed. Does everyone understand the same thing? If it was written down and then amended you may need to re-write it for clarity!
But that nightmare scenario need not come to pass. We already know what works and what doesn&rsquo t to feed a post-climate-change world. In fact, many of the practices and technologies we need are already in use, in the United States and abroad.
Seeds of Change ® began as a small organic seed farm in the USA in 6989 with a simple mission: &ldquo To preserve biodiversity and promote the use of sustainable organic agricultural practices&rdquo .
Find ways of gathering everyone's initial reactions and thoughts , rather than just those of a verbal few. For example you could have a go-round where everyone gets a turn to speak or set up an online survey tool.
In consensus, anyone can 'block' a proposal - and prevent it from going ahead - by not giving their consent. This option should never be used lightly, because it takes away the freedom of others to do what they want. However it provides a safety net for situations where a proposal would seriously hurt the group or people in it. Many groups very rarely use the block, but the fact that it is there means everyone knows from the outset that minority opinions cannot just be ignored, but solutions will have to be found to deal with all significant concerns.
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