What If There Seems To Be Pressure Exerted On One Or Two Persons to "Give In"?


It is the responsibility of the facilitator to insure that the individual's right to disagree is protected. The facilitator has several options for doing this depending on the situation:

A) State again for the person(s) what the facilitator senses the agreement among the rest of the group to be. S/he then asks the one or two persons who are disagreeing to state their specific objections. This is often helpful if there have been misunderstandings on either part.

B) If the objections seem to be reasonable, the facilitator can ask the group to meet again in small groups to consider the person's ideas. The group may also continue to meet as a whole, but unnecessary pressure is often relieved by small group work.

C) If the objections seem to be inappropriate or off the track, the facilitator can state as objectively as possible that it is her/his sense that the group has listened as well as it can, but the person's concerns are not appropriate for this time. 

D) Call for a break to defer the decision, if possible- i.e., give breathing and thinking space to dissenters. This could be as little as five minutes or as much as hours or days.


Sources: Building Social Change Communities

Contributors: Susanne Terry, The Training/Action Affinity Group of Movement for a New Society

Recommended Books:  Building Social Change Communities

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