Five Ideas… James Coe’s tips for better democracy

Tuesday 21-07-2015 - 15:25

To coincide with our new Lead and Change training courses kicking off, we’ve turned to well-versed friends from the movement who have all offered some of their top tips for being an officer.

With the first of two Lead and Change: Presidents courses taking place in Warwick next week, here are five ideas for good democracy from James Coe, former Deputy President of Liverpool Guild of Students.

At Liverpool Guild we have done a lot of work to develop better democratic structures in our union. Here are some principles which I’ve found useful and could be put to use helping you to make better decisions within your own team.

1. Make sure you are including as diverse a range of views as possible in every decision.

There is strength in differences of opinion and having a range of experiences to draw upon.

2. Keep coming back to your shared goals as a team. 

There will always be more that unites you than divides you. Being adversarial isn’t the only way.

3. Work to ensure a climate of trust and honesty.

This is a necessity to making strong decisions. Commit to listening and respecting the views of your team. Try to understand their aspirations, need and behaviours and adapt your behaviour to suit.

4. Remain critical of your methods.

Democracy, or the equal sharing of power, is an ideal to be strived towards and no system will be perfect. Keep questioning and improving the way you make decisions.

5. Seek out the voices rarely heard.

…And don’t be afraid to try new ways of doing things.

Are you attending a Lead and Change course this summer? Get networking across social media using the official hashtag, #NUSLeadChange



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