Sarah Sheard's Thoughts and Theories

Friday, June 23, 2006

Gee, who is that wise woman

with all those sage words about Silence Meaning Consent? Must be some kind of Facilitator?

Here's one page quoting her:

Sarah Sheard, a systems engineering expert, found two things happen when you poll your team members:

Build a Better Solution. Those who have reservations state the reservations, which they might not do if silence was the only option...

Internal Buy-in. If a team member is required to respond to a request for buy-in, they have to make a commitment to the decision internally...
Gosh, I wrote this in about 1993! Wow, things go around and come back around!

And the original article, published in The Facilitator (no date given, and I'll be durned if I can remember that long ago):

Is "silence means agreement" a good ground rule?
By: Sarah A. Sheard

If there is no contention, does that means that there is agreement? Some groups use "Silence Means Agreement" to speed up decisions and move the discussion along. If no one objects to a decision, it is implemented as having full consensus.

However, I have found this NOT to be a good idea. Why? ...

(and so forth)


  • I agree with just about all of the things said....there are those that are so uncomfortable voicing their opinions that even when polled they won't offer up a their thoughts. I've found that these shy types are often comfortable speaking one on one though....

    By Anonymous Diane Lussier, at 4:04 PM  

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