Pattern #18


We invite your participation in evolving this pattern language with us. Use the comment section at the bottom of this page to comment on its contents or to share related ideas and resources.

Pattern Card

Click to enlarge or download Pattern Card.

Buy or Download

To buy or download the complete Wise Democracy Card Deck use the Buy & Download button.

Buy or Download

Consulting and Abiding by Willingness

Credit: – Shutterstock

Coercion drains life from living systems for narrow short-term results. Readiness to contribute is a precious, vulnerable but ever-renewable resource for wisdom and action. So ask about, respect, protect and evoke willingness — and as we make and respond to requests and suggestions, notice how willingness evolves, interactively shaping how we choose, act, speak, agree / disagree, let go, and persist.

Some questions for exploring this pattern:

  • Do I really feel like contributing something here? What makes me feel like I can or can’t?
  • When have you seen willingness respected and used well? When have you seen it violated or ignored? What were the results? What comes up when you think about that?
  • How can we combine the free energy of willingness with our understanding of where action needs to be focused?
  • What makes you want to contribute to group effort, in general? How have you noticed your willingness changing over time, in various circumstances? What can groups learn from that?
  • What would you really like to contribute to our efforts here? Do you feel your gifts are understood and respected? If not, how could you apply this pattern to change that?
  • When some people want to do something one way and others don’t, how can the group navigate those differences without trashing the vital energy of group members’ willingness?

Going Deeper …

This is an edited version of the video on this page.


Video Introduction 22 min)


Examples and Resources