Bringing in more sociocracy training

Hello @reef-governance, @reef-facilitation and @reef-recruitment,
Ping @reef-coordination,

>> I see our use of sociocracy going down

I have been a bit worried lately about the fact that I see our use of sociocracy steadily going down. I’d be interested to hear about everybody’s perspective, but what I see includes meetings going over time without requesting consent, not using selection processes, not using role descriptions, unclear conclusions during meetings, lack of clarity of who are the members of the teams, virtually no people in the different teams with a minimum of facilitation training etc.

To be clear: this is my observation, and I don’t think anybody is to blame for it. We’ve been stretched thin and under a lot of pressure, so it is only logical that investing time in learning more about sociocracy is the first thing that goes out of the window.

>> I worry about slow progress and chaos

Most cohousing groups (about 90%) fail, and they all fail for mostly the same reasons, i.e. slow progress and chaos (e.g. documents gone missing, long meetings, unclear decisions, tensions etc). The 10% that do succeed have as the most important challenge … slow progress and chaos.

I’m not saying that this is the case, but my worst fear is that we become one of these groups that is very busy, but that achieves very little. This is a phenomenon that can be observed in many organisations: there’s a lot of work and a lot of processes, but there’s actually not that much value added being produced.

To me, sociocracy is my preferred strategy to reduce chaos to a minimum (my need). We can of course always try something else, but until we have found that, I would really like it if we could adhere to the one tool that is keeping many self-organised groups and cohousings afloat.

>> Bringing in more sociocracy training

Based on my concern about slow progress and chaos, and also the fact that we said in the Blueprint 1.0 that we would invest a lot in learning and training, I would like to propose that we increase our ambition when it comes to sociocracy training.

As a basis for a proposal, I would like to propose something along the following lines:

  • We try to combine our sociocracy and facilitation trainings.

  • We experiment with creating different levels, each with different levels of ambition in function of how someone participates in The Reef, but with a relatively extensive programme presented to everybody. This could look like something like this:

This is my reasoning:

  • Basic: The 3x2 training provides a good insight into the basics of sociocracy. It’s a nice bonding experience. It helps everyone to improve their participation in meetings, because they understand better what the facilitator is trying to do.

  • Intermediate: It would be great if all of the Teams’ Coordinators and Facilitators would have a fair understanding of all the tools that sociocracy has to offer. To get there it could be sufficient to read the chapter on facilitation in “Many Voices One Song”, and to participate as a “player” in a couple of the “advanced” facilitation trainings (5x2).

  • Advanced: I think it will be necessary for people who will be facilitating The Reef’s plenary to have a very good understanding of facilitation challenges (drama triangle, topic management etc) and also of NVC. I personally feel safer when I know that the person who is facilitating will be in control when things get a bit crazy.

>> Taking this one step further

I’d be happy to get your thoughts on this, and even happier if there would be one or two people who would be willing to form a quick helping circle to work out a possible training plan in a bit more detail.

What say you?


Thanks for the post @Lie !

I agree whole-heartedly with the importance of being as sociocratic as we can be, as I think the success of the project depends on it. I think ‘chaos’ might be a bit strong to describe where we’re at, although perhaps you’re saying this is the potential danger, rather than a reflection of the reality as it is. Either way, we all benefit from understanding sociocracy more and investing in training…

I’m definitely ‘in’ for being a part of this helping circle :slight_smile:

Definitely a good move, in my opinion, and I think the initial outline in the box below looks effective.

Regarding the slow progress, I’d like to point out that a lot of people are working really hard to move us forward. And it seems to me that not finding a site as quickly as we would have liked, or thought that we would, is the main sticking point in terms of momentum. As you know, I’m a big fan of meetings and developing working methods and building community dynamics, but even I’m more than ready to find a site now and take the next steps. And there’s certainly been some positive progress in this regard recently. I guess where I’m going with this is a general ‘call to arms’ for everyone to keep the energy levels up, particularly as a lovely Brussels winter sets in, to do everything we can to find the location for this beautiful thing we’re trying to do!

Steely determination and commitment (slow progress) and excited enthusiasm (more sociocracy)


I can find myself in what Chris says.
If you want, I could also be part of the helping circle. Just let me know.


no opinion (yet). If i can be of any value to the helping circle (being a newie), willing to participate. (started reading the ‘many voices one song’ book)


If possible I’d like to bring a proposal to the plenary of 20 December.

@ChrisM @mieke and @els let’s see whether we can manage to find a time slot for a 1 hour meeting next week that suits 2-3 of us?

I’m leaving the timing open, but let’s say one hour some time between 19:00 and 21:30?

  • Monday 11 December
  • Tuesday 12 December
  • Thursday 14 December
  • None of these are possible for me
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Hello @ChrisM @els and @mieke,

It seems difficult to find a date that suits all four of us, and given the fact that it’s not the most important topic and that it would be nice to move forward with it as soon as possible, I would like to propose that we meet on Tuesday 12 December, and that Mieke sends us her feedback in writing.

I have saved a first draft of a possible proposal here:

I don’t think we need much time for the meeting, and I would like to preserve as much as the evening for free time. Chris and Els, could you please let me know the time slot during which you would be able to have a 45 minute meeting?


Everything from 18:00 onwards is fine for me…

Just read your proposal, looks good to me. Thanks @Lee
Here are some of my remarks/ideas (we can discuss further next tuesday if needed)

  • this is more of a detail: is there a ‘Reef library’. There is allready a lot of material, i am not complaining, but i am sb who like to read on the train, in a book (not on a screen).
  • my feeling is that some people have (for valid reasons) less time for the Reef, and to lower the barier to get acquinted with sociocracy, i wonder for those for who it is difficult to be be present on a training, to register one taking place and give the recording of that training to those people.
    To contradict my self a bit :slight_smile: , i do think these trainings are not ‘only’ trainings but a way to get to know the people / create community, so being present in a training has extra benefits. And another thing which is not clear for me: what is ‘The Reefs’ policy on ‘minimal investment’: do we try to include as many people as possible and invest energy in seeing how to lower the barier for them to somehow be informed/be trained. Or is it rather: doing the trainings is a minimal investment so if you cannot make it, that’s just it.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the doc yet, but I will do before the meeting. I’m available at 19h on Tuesday…

Oki. How about we meet at 19:00 then, aiming to finish by 19:45. @ChrisM, could you please add a Zoom link?

@els if ok with you I’d like to use the meeting for questions and comments (talking will in this case be more efficient than writing I believe), and based on what we get we can then amend the proposal if needed. Does that work?

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perfect : meeting at 19:00
perfect: further discussing on Tuesday

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Done :slight_smile:

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Hi @Lee and @els !

Ahead of our meeting this evening, I’ve added a tab to the ‘Onboarding state-of-play’ doc for training. Mainly to impress @mieke with how much I know about using Excel, but also to keep track of who has done what training moving forward.

I did it before I’d read Lie’s document above, so it’s just a starting point. We can play with the format and add as many different training columns as we like. Here’s the link:


  • Thanks for the work @Lee , it looks good to me. I don’t have any comments for now.
  • I agree with @els about the fact that attending a training is good to get to know people & create the feeling of community. However, it’s also a fact that people have busy agenda’s so let’s find a way to make it work (sorry if that sounds vague for now).
  • I love extra tabs in Excel, so yes @ChrisM, I am very happy with what you achieved :slight_smile:

Hello @els and @ChrisM,
Ping @mieke,

I have updated the proposal based on yesterday’s meeting to my best ability. Could you please have a look and let me know if you have any further feedback?



Thanks @Lee, looks good to me.
Just maybe one extra reflection: i wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to print out several copies of only the capter on ‘How to run a sociocratic meeting’ of the Many voices, one song book. Low effort/cost and i guess it’s the most important part to start with.

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@els, good idea. I’ll add it to my list of things to do.

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Hello @reef-coordination,

Would there be a good soul who could take 10 minutes to peer review the proposal on bringing in more sociocracy training?

This is the link:


Hi all !

Now that this proposal has been consented to, what are the next step for making it a reality? I would imagine putting a schedule together and posting it here, perhaps with polls for who’s coming to the first two or three. Did we already talk about who was going to do that?


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I would need a couple of hours to sit down and put together the first four sessions. What I would like to do is combine the training we have on decision-making, and then tweak the 3x2 (removing some stuff and adding some other stuff).

I first need to prioritise the Team Building work flow thingy, and to a lesser extent the statutes of the asbl. As soon as I am ready I will touch base and then try to schedule the first four sessions.

Does that work?