THIS MAY BE TITLED MORE APPROPRIATELY… DISCUSSION BASED CONSENSUS BUILDING
TO MOST OF US… THIS SEEMED CONFUSING AT FIRST AND WE ASKED… WHY CHANGE THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS? MANY OF US THOUGHT…. WHAT WE WERE DOING… GOT THE JOB DONE…! SOME ALSO THOUGHT… that this was going to be too time consuming!
WE WANTED TO CHANGE BECAUSE…. In some cases… just over half the room was on board with a decision……what about the other 49 percent?? In some cases…. The majority of the service body had no input into the decisions that were being made…and when they did there was a limit of members to speak for or against, instead of inputting into the idea! In some cases…. there was little discussion, leaving some of us confused about the decisions that were being made but some of us went along with it anyways…… These ideas didn’t seem to follow our 7th concept….
A Different Way of Making Decisions (that more clearly follow our concepts) All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body’s decisions and should be allowed to fully participate in its decision-making processes. (7th Concept) “NA service is a team effort. Our Service representatives are responsible to the NA fellowship as a whole rather than any special constituency; so are all other trusted servants on the team. The full participation of each member is of great value as we seek to express the collective conscience of the whole”. (Twelve Concepts of NA Service, p 16)
How can a whole room of addicts agree on an issue? Most of us, who are familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order saw this as a problem… at first… CBDM is a different way of thinking about coming to a resolve. We either take a.... Discussion Topic or idea We take an idea and work together to mold it into a proposal Or Specific Proposal We take a proposal and work together to discuss if this will work best for the group, can be reworked into what the group wants
CDM Requires Practicing Spiritual Principles such as… Patience Open-mindedness Trust Faith Good will Honesty Respect Willingness
CBDM …. ….Is a cooperative process for making decisions in which everyone or nearly everyone consents to the decisions of the group ….Is a problem-solving method for people who wish to work together to find the best solution for the group Basically means…. ….The decision is in this room — our job is to find it …...together
Discussion Proposal Test for Consensus/Straw poll NOYES Modify of Proposal Assent, Assent w/Reservations, or Stand Aside Concerns RaisedConsensus Achieved ActionBlock How CBDM Works:
Assent with Reservations – “I think this may be a mistake but I can live with it” (going along with this so we can move forward but not fully on board – not stopping what I see what the group wants to do) Stand Aside – “ I personally can’t do this, but I won’t stop others from doing it.” (basically taking myself out of the equation – do not agree but will allow the group to move forward) Block – “I cannot support this or allow the group to support this. It is against our principles.” Blocking is a rare and extreme form of dissent taken only if you honestly believe that one of the Traditions or Concepts is directly violated by a proposal or that some very fundamental moral position would be violated. A participant who blocks must be able to articulate which Tradition, Concept or Spiritual principle fundamental to NA is violated by the proposal.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT MODELS SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING MODEL ORIGINALLY FROM THE EUROPEAN DELEGATES ZONE In this model 85 percent is considered consensus…. ….there are times when a proposal can be a choice….members opinions….and more opportunity to disagree….so 85 percent would show solid support in these instances
Short discussion Budget implications Facilitator can gauge the room -More information -Dissenting views heard -Small group or time out -If very small amount of dissents they may be asked if they could support this…
What would be ideal! Write your topic on the topic discussion board……… Have the group prioritize the topics………… Put a time frame on the topic if necessary ……….. Allow members to share…before others share twice….if someone is not on board….hear from them!! All new information is valuable…….... The group makes a decision and we take action…… Or if more information or research is needed we could… Form a workgroup to complete the project and have the workgroup complete an outline so everyone is on the same page and knows what their specific tasks are……(usually called a project charge sheet) They would take the information shared during the discussion to complete their tasks. This workgroup would meet for a specific amount of time and come back to the table with their findings or the project completed.
These models can be changed to fit the needs of your service body….it is just an example….. SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER ARE Blocking a proposal is a last resort and only done in rare and extreme cases We need to change the way we think….to work together… “WE” Can I put aside my personal opinion to allow the rest of the group to move forward? CBDM does not have to slow down the process…. Am I able to pass on making a point, when someone else has already made it? Straw Polls are just to see where the body is at with a proposal Some service bodies allow all members at their meeting to participate in reaching consensus. This would be determined by your area/region.
It is up to us, the participants, to try to achieve consensus even though it is not the only method of decision-making. We have the tools in the form of guidelines, NA resources, committees and a higher power to help us reach a satisfactory conclusion. NOTE - Concept Six states: “Just as we seek the strongest possible spiritual unity in Narcotics Anonymous, so in our decision making we seek unanimity, not merely a majority vote.”
Example Discussion Topic Board 1 Creating unity in our area 2 Caring an NA message of recovery in our meetings 3 Social Networking posts about NA 4 Giving more literature to the local treatment center 5 Funding more members to the regional meeting 6 Lack of newcomers in the meetings 7 Encouraging members to be of Service 8 Lets buy pizza after the meeting with the 7 th tradition?
Working Together – CBDM Lets prioritize! We will take # 1 We can work together to find a solution… Facilitator will keep it on track Secretary to take notes After we have consensus… Let us know… Was the experience one of working together? Describe? Did you feel it was helpful to gain the ideas of the group? Describe your experience?
Working Together – CBDM Lets prioritize! Pick a topic from discussion topics! 5 Small Groups Have a facilitator Secretary Speaker to share results brainstorm ideas Facilitator will keep it on track You are the service body and can make the decision of action as a group What is your action? Was the experience one of working together? Describe? Did you feel it was helpful to gain the ideas of the group? Describe your experience