Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Where do personal preferences for accountabilities fit?

Suppose that in the governance meeting there is a proposal to add an accountability to a role. And the person filling this role doesn't like this new accountability.

They could raise an objection, and say that since they don't like it, it is a reason why this new accountability creates a tension for them. While it doesn't seem like a valid objection (because its not about the role needs, but about the personal needs of the role filler), testing questions might fail to surface that. That person could simply state that since they don't personally like it, that's in fact a new tension.

Or they could make up some argument about why this proposal will create a new tension.

How would you deal with that?

And more interestingly, where is the space for personal preferences for which work to accept and not to accept in Holacracy?

3 Replies
Eric Babinet

In order for the objection to be valid the objector would need to be able to provide a reason why the proposal would degrade the ability of the circle to express its purpose or accountabilities. (ie. it would "cause harm")

"Not liking something" does not indicate why something causes harm, so they'd need to come up with something else. If they have a reason why the proposal would cause harm, perhaps they have a valid objection.

Keep in mind that just because an accountability gets added does not mean that the role-filler has to energize it. The role-filler gets to decide how to allocate their time and energy across all the roles they are filling, so that could be the space of "personal preference" that you are asking about. However, there is a duty in the constitution to prioritize circle needs over individual goals. (4.1.3c)


Alexey Ilyichev

Eric, that person could provide a reason "I won't be able to do it because I personally don't like it", and a facilitator don't have an authority to judge whether that's a good reason or not.


Hi Alexey,


As a Facilitator, I would try to test it with “Is that a reason it causes harm or move us backwards or is it just that you don't personally like it?”

Either it is just a personal concern and the person says option 2 or if it does really cause harm, “ok how does it cause harm?”.

If the person says that it is because she won't be able to energize it, that's a different issue and maybe it is not the appropriate role to put this in or maybe it is just a assignment concern and has nothing to do in governance, depends on what the person says.

In conclusion, I'd say that the Facilitator has to seek the reason why it causes harm, he has to dig a bit. He is not just asking for an objection, he seeks a real reason, while still not judging the reason but the person has to provide a reason why it causes harm. With no reason, you don't have any objection.


Hope that helps!