The essentials of Quaker practice

Sociocratic decision-making by consent is derived from the Quaker tradition. Therefore, it’s interesting to understand how Quakers make decisions and why they do it that way. Here are the essentials of Quaker practice (adapted from Collective Intelligence and Quaker Practice by Leonard Joy):

1. There’s a desire for the common good
2. All voices are heard and listened to
3. All are respected including those affected by the decision
4. All interests are respected and cared for
5. Loving relationships are maintained
6. All are grounded in their own humanity
7. There’s sensitivity to interdependence
8. All speak out of the silence (the state of being personally grounded)
9. All address the facilitator not one another
10. All speak simply, not repeating what has already been offered
11. All speak one’s own truth
12. There’s commitment to air dissent
13. There’s authentic expression of feeling
14. Decision making is distinguished from ”threshing”
15. Necessary documents are prepared prior to meetings for decision
16. The facilitator offers the ”sense of the meeting”
17. The facilitator resolves difficulty in coming to unity
18. Decisions are made not by majority vote, nor by consensus, but by unity
19. There’s a structure to bring to bear the voices of many collectivities

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