Friday, March 16, 2018

Group Conscience

There is such a thing as a meeting to make a decision in which "group conscience" is paramount.  I have rarely been in such meetings.  Most meetings in my life are hierarchical.  Someone is the boss in the room.  Others are underlings, or someone is seen as in charge, and the rest have lesser titles.  In these meetings it is not always safe to give an opinion.  Some people are just naturally less likely to speak up.  A few people, usually the more outspoken ones, speak up and then the boss pushes toward a decision that generally agrees with the boss.  In group conscience none of this stuff happens.  No one is in charge though someone leads the meeting.  The meeting is made safe by not commenting approval or disapproval.  Everyone is given time to speak.  It is not a "group" conscience if some people say nothing.  These meetings can take a long time or there will be multiple meetings before a decision is made.   What is the purpose of this?  Group unity, and the thought that a minority opinion might in fact become the decision.  Everyone takes ownership and no one walks away feeling left out.    When I was in charge of stuff, I did not much like group conscience.  How many people felt left out or diminished, I don't know.  But now that I am in charge of nothing, I like group conscience!

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