How to use Sociocracy and NVC in Intentional Communities?

Integrating Sociocracy and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) principles and practices in intentional communities can foster effective communication, collaboration, and decision-making.

Here are some suggestions on how to use Sociocracy and NVC in intentional communities:

  1. Establish Clear Governance Structures:

Sociocracy provides a framework for structuring governance in intentional communities. Implement circle structures, roles, and decision-making processes that align with sociocratic principles. This ensures that power is distributed, decision-making is consent-based, and everyone’s voice is heard.

  1. Implement Consent-Based Decision-Making:

Sociocracy’s consent-based decision-making approach encourages active listening, empathy, and collaboration. Ensure that decisions are made with the consent of all circle members. NVC principles can help create a safe and empathetic space for exploring objections, concerns, and needs before reaching consent.

  1. Foster Effective Communication:

NVC principles can enhance communication within intentional communities. Encourage individuals to express themselves using “I” statements and focus on observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Practice active listening and empathy to foster understanding and create an environment of open and non-judgmental communication.

  1. Mediate Conflicts:

NVC offers valuable conflict resolution tools. Establish processes for mediating conflicts within the community, encouraging individuals to express their feelings and needs while listening to others’ perspectives. NVC’s emphasis on empathy and understanding can support a constructive and empathetic approach to conflict resolution. Making requests instead of demands can effectively support problem solving and community well-being.

  1. Build Empathy and Connection:

NVC emphasizes empathy and building connections based on understanding each other’s needs. Organize NVC workshops or empathy circles within the community to deepen communication skills, empathy, and understanding. This can enhance relationships, foster trust, and create a supportive and compassionate community culture. Sociocratic facilitation skills can support the principle of voice equivalence in community’s meetings of any kind.

  1. Regular Check-Ins and Feedback:

Sociocracy encourages regular check-ins and feedback loops. Integrate NVC principles by creating spaces for individuals to express their feelings, needs, and observations during check-ins. This supports individual and collective awareness, creating a culture of ongoing learning and improvement within the community.

  1. Training and Skill Development:

Offer training and skill development opportunities in Sociocracy and NVC. Provide resources, workshops, or guest speakers who can facilitate learning and practice of these principles and techniques. This ensures that community members have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively apply Sociocracy and NVC in their interactions.

  1. Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation:

Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of Sociocracy and NVC practices within the community. Engage in reflective processes, such as retrospectives, to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adaptations. This iterative approach ensures that the community’s governance and communication practices evolve and remain responsive to the needs of its members.

By integrating Sociocracy and NVC principles and practices, intentional communities can create a culture of collaboration, empathy, and effective decision-making.

These approaches foster connection, understanding, and shared responsibility, supporting the community’s goals of cooperation, harmony, and collective well-being.

If you want to share your personal reflections on this topic, please feel free to do so in a comment below. Thank you.

Best wishes!


  1. Start here:

  2. Sociocracy – basic concepts and principles:

  3. Why Sociocracy For All (SoFA)?

  4. Social Justice Statement of Sociocracy For All:

  5. Sociocracy For All in the news

  6. Sociocracy basic resources

  7. SoFA Membership - Why join Sociocracy For All?

  8. Sociocracy Training

  9. More sociocracy resources: articles and videos

  10. SoFA events

  11. Many Voices One Song – A sociocracy manual

  12. Who Decides Who Decides? - How to start a group so everyone can have a voice!

  13. Let’s decide together - The definitive guidebook for practicing decision-making with children

  14. Meeting Evaluation Cards - This is the Meeting Evaluation Cards product by Sociocracy For All

  15. Case studies

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