Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Shaman Exercise: A Secular Example of How Councils Should Function

The idea of councils in the LDS Church reminds me of "The Shaman Exercise".

When someone has a problem, they stand in the middle of the circle and present the problem to the circle. The circle is composed of people from all walks of life and status in the world. Each person in the outer circle gives their analysis of the problem and a proposed solution, while the person in the center listens.

At the end, there is no resolution expected from the person in the center -- but that person walks away with far more information, a broader view of the world, and far more perspectives and angles than they could generate on their own. And ultimately decides on the answer that is right -- for them. And it may be none of the answers given in the circle. But the circle had influence. 

That is precisely how I view the concept of councils.  If I am in the position of the person who presides, I listen, read, talk to others, etc. - and certain things they say "stick". Sometimes the ideas come on my own, but most often it's a synthesis of what I have experienced, what I have read, and what the people around me say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And then everyone in the outer circle complains about the decision.