S: What are examples of objections during a selection, and how can we overcome them?

Typical objections will be based on lack of experience, lack of time, lack of trust.

Here’s a list of the different options, following the ACT frameworks in Let’s Decide Together: amend, concern, term.

It’s the facilitator’s decision whether to stick with the proposed candidate – especially if many people nominated the candidate – and make the proposal safer (by providing training, clearer expectations, by freeing up time), or to propose a different candidate.

  • Amend the proposal. Depending on what the objection is, there could be different options.
    Examples
    Objection: “I think I/the candidate doesn’t have enough experience” → can we get that person more experience somehow? Training? Coaching?
    Objection: “I think I/the candidate doesn’t have enough free attention or time” → can that person give up other roles or tasks and get freed up for this role?
  • Measure the concern.
    Examples:
    Objection: “I think I/the candidate doesn’t have enough experience and will run overtime a lot” → can we track whether the meetings run overtime a lot. How often would that need to happen so we review our decision?
    Objection: “I think I/the candidate doesn’t have enough free attention or time and might drop tasks or forget to prepare the agenda” → How often would that need to happen so we would say it’s not working and we need to review this choice?
  • Shorten the term. Can we reach consent if the candidate stays in the role for a shorter period of time?
  • Propose a different candidate

For more information, check out our handbook Many Voices One Song section 3.6.3

I’ve wanted object to the selection of someone because this person had too much power - I felt the power should be more distributed - but I didn’t know how to make that objection…

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We tried this process last night in a “learning circle”. One of the questions that came up is how does someone who’s been nominated decline the nomination?
I was surprised at how emotionally challenging the process was for people, even though it was “low stakes” as we were just nominating the facilitator for the next session, and the group of 8 had been formed with the idea that everyone would facilitate or co-facilitate at some point. I appreciate the tip of having people write down their nominee in advance.

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