Feb. 14 2022 Advocates for IC topics: Full v. general circle use and objections to elections

Break-out session issues:

  1. There was a request to clarify differences in inclusion regarding decision-making for a forming group: What is decided in the Full Circle (all members) and what is decided in the Steering or General Circle?
    A related issue brought up focused on the needs of an established community regarding Full Circle verses General Circle—one participant cited the problem of low members attendance of Full Circle meetings during which a domain circle operational lead election is being held as the role has been ably filled by the same person for many years and there is no uncertainty as to who will be nominated and elected—going through the motions of role selection, nomination and election procedures is experienced as a waste of time.
    The discussion pointed to the function of the Full Circle as the place for education, feedback and community-building. Feedback can include broad-based discussions on “Big Issues” that impact everyone.
    The importance of effective communication between the two circles—Full and General—emphasized as the process that creates flow and transparency between them while ensuring that the boundaries around mandates and aims are maintained.
    The established community member was advised that domain circle elections might be more effectively conducted by the domain circle members—not the Full Circle—as most are not directly involved in the work issues and members seem to be “voting with their feet” by just showing up for Full Circle meetings.
  2. Working with objections: How to distinguish between addressing role nomination objections by a nominated person in such a way as to not create the perception or experience of “bullying” if someone is being encouraged to accept an election to a role they do not want to take on.

The discussion addressed the importance of the facilitator to provide education on the function of objections and the process of working through them to avoid assumptions that not accepting a refusal to take on a role at face value is coercive. When the facilitator reframes “working through” an objection to being elected by the nominated person as an opportunity to find creative solutions that support a member reluctant to accept a role election for themselves, the entire community can deepen their understanding of the how objections can strengthen trust and build healthy relationships. One example of this type of creative solution would be to arrange for the current holder to stay in the role for a defined length of time to provide mentoring, or splitting up the terms of service between more than one person.

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