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What Are Your Blind Spots?

This could be done as part of a Hot Seat exercise or by itself. People take turns volunteering to be the focus person. Everyone else shares their thoughts:

What do you think are the problem areas that a member of the group is not seeing about themselves? Are they denying something which others think are true? Etc.

People hearing about their blind spots are encouraged to start responding by saying "What feels true about what you are saying is___" Rather than responding defensively or contradicting the suggested blind spot. As with anything in transparency groups, you participate because you want to see yourself more clearly and hearing from others is a way to achieve that.

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Checking the Process

If the flow of the meeting is breaking down or if one person or small group seems to be dominating, anyone can call into question the technique being used and suggest an alternative.

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Active Participation

We all have an inalienable right to express our own best thoughts. We decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Since Consensus is a process of synthesis, not competition, all sincere comments are important and valuable. If ideas are put forth as the speaker's property and individuals are strongly attached to their opinions, Consensus will be extremely difficult. Stubbornness, closed-mindedness, and possessiveness lead to defensive and argumentative behaviour that disrupts the process. For active participation to occur, it  is necessary to promote trust by creating an atmosphere in which every contribution is considered valuable. With encouragement, each person can develop knowledge and experience, a sense of responsibility and competency, and the ability to participate.

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Phase 0 Recommended Reading

As an organization we encourage individuals with limited incomes to find these titles at your local library or borrow from a fellow Transition website user. However, if you have the means and like to own books you can purchase these titles and support The Transition by clicking on the covers below and purchasing them online.

nickel_and_dimed.jpg fast_food_nation.jpg the_gardens_of_democracy.jpg philanthrocapitalism.jpg the_book_of_community.jpg
Why_you're_stuck.jpg robots_will_steal_your_job.jpg the_zero_maginal_cost_society.jpg nonviolent_comminication.jpg as_a_man_thinketh.jpg  
a_guide_to_the_present_moment.jpg love_book.jpg the_internet_is_my_religion.jpg the_conquest_of_bread.jpg a_framwork_of_understanding_poverty.jpg


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I Am


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Foremost is the need for trust. Without some amount of trust, there will be no cooperation or nonviolent resolution to conflict. For trust to flourish, it is desirable for individuals to be willing to examine their attitudes and be open to new ideas. Acknowledgement and appreciation of personal and cultural differences promote trust. Neither approval nor friendship is necessary for a good working relationship. By developing trust, the process of Consensus encourages the intellectual and emotional development of the individuals within a group.

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If many people want to speak at the same time, it is useful to ask all those who would like to speak to raise their hands. Have them count off, and then have them speak in that order. At the end of the stack, the Facilitator might call for another stack or try another technique.

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It is everyone's responsibility to show respect to one another. People feel respected when everyone listens, when they are not interrupted, when their ideas are taken seriously. Respect for emotional as well as logical concerns promotes the kind of environment necessary for developing Consensus. To promote respect, it is important to distinguish between an action which causes a problem and the person who did the action, between the deed and the doer.

We must criticize the act, not the person.

Even  if you think the person is the problem, responding that way never resolves anything.

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Unity of Purpose

Unity of Purpose is a basic understanding about the goals and purpose of the group. Of course, there will be varying opinions on the best way to accomplish these goals. However, there must be a unifying base, a common starting point, which is recognized and accepted by all.

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Clarity of Process

The Facilitator is responsible for leading the meeting openly so that everyone present is aware of the process and how to participate. This means it is important to constantly review what just happened, what is about to happen, and how it will happen. Every time a new discussion technique is introduced, explain how it will work and what is to be accomplished. This is both educational and helps new members participate more fully.

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