Sociocracy and self-care & boundaries

Sociocracy and self-care and boundaries are not so easy:

  • People now have the power to say no… but will they? What does it take to say no?
  • In a decentralized system, we have several “bosses” (aka circles that guide our work), so work might pile up and cluster and make things stressful.

How do you deal with that? What have you noticed? What has not helped or not helped?

Brian and I had a quick conversation about that here:

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In Germany there is a book that deals with the fact that if the organizations are self-organized and there are fewer external structures, the people who work there need more internal structures. This approach is very much based on the assumption that people should also first deal a lot with themselves - Why do I feel what? What do I actually want? What are my boundaries? etc.
I often wonder how important this is for implementing sociocracy in organizations. Should there be additional training for this or do people learn this when they use sociocracy?

Hi @pia.rohn , I’m curious - what’s the name of the book you mention?

I certainly think it’s absolutely necessary for people to do personal/internal work in order to participate well in - really any system, but especially - self organizing systems like sociocracy. That’s why SoFA teaches NVC classes as well.

I do think sociocracy certainly inherently begs the questions of personal growth and development (so to speak), but whether people learn from the practice itself depends on some baseline skills and a willingness to do that work. I do think it’s very much worthwhile to learn some basic frameworks for personal responsibility in order to get clear on the sort of boundaries of self and other.

I nevertheless always find myself learning new things about myself!


I completely agree. I always make the comparison with a flower pot where we take the pot off and the roots are still all bundled up. That’s us when we take hierarchy away. Learning the skills and creating what you call the “internal structures” has to replace that so we can get out of the flower pot shape!

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Thank you very much for your feedback and I really like the picture with the flower pot…

I can imagine that it is a big challenge for organizations or for the people in the organizations when they change from the classical hierarchy to sociocracy and at the same time I think it is so great that finally the whole person in organizations is seen and not only the worker or the member…

@cj.oreilly: the book is called: “New work needs inner work.” (Joana Breidenbach, Bettina Rollow)