L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
overview of common decision making
Ask if there are clarifying questions,
but don't let people give their opinions
A Step by Step Guide to Decision
Step 2: Discussion of the Proposal
Step 1: Define a Clear Proposal
When people understand the proposal,
move into discussing it.  It is a good
Sometimes people come to a meeting
idea to decide how long to spend on the
with a proposal already in mind.  This
discussion.  Ask people to limit their
is usually helpful if it can be seen as a
input so all can have a say.  Sometimes
starting point or jumping off point and
the discussion can go on an on, with
the person making the proposal is flex 
ible.  If it's an involved proposal, com 
ing to the meeting with written copies
can be helpful;
Sometimes proposals are embedded in
a group discussion.  For example
someone might say,  I think it's impor 
tant to write a letter to the editor about
x.   The discussion can often move off
in a different direction, so it is impor 
tant to catch potential proposals and
make them obvious, such as,  Edgar
suggested we write a letter; let's decide
if we will do it.  The proposal is for us
as a group to write a letter to the editor
about x.   Sometimes it is necessary to
ask a group to turn discussion ideals
into possible proposals.  A group may
spend 15 minutes talking about how
important it is to be especially visible
on National Coming Out Day.  Some 
one needs to say,  Does anyone have
any concrete ideas/proposals on what
we could do to be more visible?;  and
Photo   1995 Alex Zaphiris
the same points being made over and
Make sure that everyone is clear that a
over.  If you summarize what was said
proposal is being made.  If it's a com 
accurately, folks may feel their point
plicated proposal you can write down
was heard and not repeat it.  Some 
the key points on newsprint and post it
times the same people will speak more
on the wall.  Before you launch into a
than once, you can say,  let's let people
discussion of the pros and cons of the
who haven't spoken yet have a
proposal, make sure everyone is clear
about/understands what is proposed.
6 2
B u i l d i n g   a   H e a l t h y   O r g a n i z a t i o n


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