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Sociocracy in couple relationships? Round table

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Couples make a lot of decisions together. Would it help to extend organizational decision making and consider a couple relationship a tiny organization?

Two aspects from the concept of self-management by consent seem to apply here:

  1. Instead of an outside power or hierarchical power "knowing" what's good for an organization, the circle decides themselves how they want to operate and what agreements they want to put in place to support their aim.
  2. Those agreements are made by consent by the parties affected.

Could we use these principles to improve decision making in our relationships? Sociocracy For All co-founder Ted Rau will reflect on what this can look like: the crucial point here is to notice tensions and bring the up so we can be intentional about them. Instead of complaining and nagging, we can be agents in shaping the relationship we want to have. The other key concept is consent: an agreement is only made when both parties consent. Although the method of decision making is relevant here, maybe the most important step for couple relationships is to be explicit about decision, to ask for consent instead of making assumptions about what the other might want or not want.

By no way an expert on this, Ted will "think out loud" in a short ~20min presentation with practical examples and stories. Then, we will gather more stories and examples from participants, hoping to highlight the opportunities and limitations of consent decision making for couples.

Note: this is a topic we have talked about a lot, including our own practical experience but it's a topic we have never taught. So this is new territory for SoFA as well. It will be infused with non-violent communication and other tools around personal growth work.

Note: if you consider yourselves a couple, we consider you a couple. If a value set works for your relationship, we don't question that. The only basic assumption we make is basic to consent: everyone's needs matter. Any strategy that all affected parties can consent to is a strategy effective in meeting the parties needs.

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