How have you seen a group conscience being formed in Al‑Anon?
Please share your experiences by commenting on the topic below. The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you liked and leave the rest. Member sharing on the Member Blog may be used in future Al‑Anon publications.
This month we’re asking you to share on how have you seen a group conscience being formed in Al‑Anon?
My experience with group conscience has been part of my spiritual recovery. Two actions I have learned are important. First, to give members time to reflect on the issue. What are the pros and cons of the issue? How will the change affect our group or service arm? How does the action affect our primary purpose? Many of us think we can act quickly but without some reflection all solutions may not get out on the table. The second action is for the group to hear from each member before calling for a vote. In the home group the GR… Read more »
I’ve seen a group conscience form when people stay after the meeting and vote on who is going to take the key or refreshments or chair for the next month. That’s the simple way to start one. In my Home Group we have monthly group consciences and the secretary asks “does anyone have any new business?” Old business is treasury reports, secretary’s report for re-reading the last month’s group conscience decisions, and literature report. If something is bothering someone, they bring it up. the topic may get mentioned, discussed, left at that, or it may get motioned, discussed, and then… Read more »
Our group had some members who disregarded the time limit of three minutes per person decided by the group. The solution to this problem was to have someone time the shares, however, there were valid pros and cons about using a timer. After discussion at a business meeting we decided to take it to the group for a group conscience suggesting that we try it for six months and then reevaluate. This worked very well and after six months another group conscience was taken and the group decided to continue with the use of a timer.
We are in the middle of one at present and it is going well.
I’ve attended numerous meetings in different cities over the years and have witnessed the group conscience process many times. I believe the best decisions are made when the question is raised and discussed in advance of the vote; when the vote is not rushed just to get through the agenda on time; when ample time is given for discussion; and when all members are encouraged to speak (the secretary can prompt members who haven’t spoken asking them to share their viewpoint so that every member has a voice). Following the KBDM model, when the decision is made after full discussion… Read more »
I had to opportunity to see a group conscience unfold in my last District meeting. It was amazing to watch it happen. I did not know how this could be resolved. There was members looking for a vote to have the District Representative (DR) of that District to step down. Those members were not in favor of this DR. There were members that that wished the DR would not step down. There was discussion of the pros and cons. Some members came to this meeting after gossiping about the DR prior to the meeting. The DR was blindsided by the… Read more »
Our AFG utlizes a group conscience to refine our group and meet the needs of the members. We typically will make an announcement over the course of two or three meetings, then meet to discuss and have a hands up vote. The goals of the group as we have grown over the last two years is to continue to be open, welcoming and supportive of new members that come through our doors. We strive to be intentional in meeting those goals and thus have used a group conscience recently in serving those that come to our group. One has been… Read more »
My home group has a business meeting each month. An example of one group conscience is how much money do we send to each service arms. We give away all our money after we pay expenses. We have done a group conscience on our meeting format, volunteer work, and what our gift will be for the Area Delegate at the WSC.
Our group is in the habit of having a Business Meeting on the 3rd meeting date of the month. If someone proposes a change in meeting format or other substantial change, we announce for a minimum of 3 weeks in a row that there will be a Group Conscience Meeting at the next Business Meeting, and we state the proposed change during the 3 announcement phase. Then we vote at the Group Conscience/Business meeting.
Any member can ask for a group conscience. In some groups the member speaks out when we ask “Are there any Al-Anon related announcements” and in other meetings a member asks the secretary to announce it. Unless it is urgent, we announce the issue and hold it 2 weeks later to give people time to think about it. Also not everyone comes every week, so it gives people a heads up to be there. It is usually led by the secretary unless the secretary asks a more experienced member to lead it. Everyone who wants to speak is allowed to… Read more »
I have seen a group conscience being formed and have been impressed by the action as it is so important to our program. The action is a model of how a healthy group takes each members individuality into account for the group decision making. So different from how I was raised. So different from the job/ work worlds I have had experience with. So different from many of our members home situations. I am often taken aback at how easily I can slip into trying to make unilateral decisions just because that has always been the model! I am grateful… Read more »
I’ve been in Al-Anon for seven years now. During this relatively short time I’ve seen and participated in the process of coming to a group conscience multiple times. When I was new to the program, the term “group conscience” confused me. It sounded spiritual and intangible. About a year ago I listened to an Al-Anon speaker share how she had learned to apply our Traditions to her personal relationships. She paraphrased Tradition Two and said “mutual decision” instead of “group conscience”. I heard that and had a moment of clarity: it’s simply a mutual decision! That was an idea I… Read more »