The process of Formal Consensus is an enjoyable discussion process used by MMA for it's business meetings. It is used instead of the "majority rule" method in which a majority vote is used to make decisions and minority concerns are ignored. Formal Consensus allows each person to express her opinion and shape the end decision. Obviously, it goes smoother when all participants have an idea of how the process works. During the discussion, please remember to listen when others speak and speak only in turn.
Before the discussion begins, participants must fill the following positions:
- Facilitator - must not be personally involved with the subject being discussed. She will get the discussion started, keep it focused, and keep participants from getting side-tracked.
- Timekeeper - before each discussion, a timekeeper is appointed to announce to the group when time is running short, and when it is over.
- Peacekeeper - appointed to monitor the feelings being expressed during the discussion, and has the power to intervene, call for a break, etc. when the discussion gets out of hand.
- Advocate - occasionally an advocate will be appointed to speak on behalf of someone who may be too emotionally involved to speak for herself.