Quaker business

The way that Quaker groups reach decisions is at the core of why Quakers have taken so many radicle initiatives over the centuries- from slavery to prison reform, from the treatment of the mentally ill to the treatment of "the enemy", from industrial relations to understanding and removing the causes of conflict, from sexual relations to (most recently) same-sex marriage.

Reading Friends Meeting For Business

Quaker groups seek decisions in "Meetings for worship for business", conducted in a background of silence and facilitated by a clerk rather than a chair.

Contributions from the floor are offered by standing in silence, and when invited by the clerk spoken into silence. There is no voting, but an attempt by the clerk to sense the "feeling of the meeting", written down by the clerk and read out to the meeting and assented to in the silence as no-one else stands to propose an amendment or bring in a fresh perspective. At the last with no-one standing the clerk will ask "Is the minute acceptable?" and there will be a wave of muttered "I hope so"'s.

BYM 2009 by Alan Ray-Jones

This method can be frustratingly slow or on occasion (as all see the way ahead, and there are no fortified positions to be dismantled) surprisingly fast. But even when it seems slow, decisons reached are understood and adopted by all, and this tortoise can prove to be faster than the hare of more conventional methods.