Group Conscience Decisions

Group Conscience Decisions

This area explains what informed group conscience decisions are, provides a chronological listing of all group conscience decisions, and explains our Common Welfare Guidelines (crafted and affirmed through group conscience decisions).

In GROW, we make decisions that affect the group in our business meetings. As a result of the process of holding regular business meetings that encourage discussion and consensus, we arrive at collective, “informed group conscience” decisions. The A.A. General Service Conference-approved pamphlet, “The A.A. Group: Where it all begins,” explains the concept of an informed group conscience decision:

“The group conscience is the collective conscience of the group membership and thus represents substantial unanimity on an issue before definitive action is taken. This is achieved by the group members through the sharing of full information, individual points of view, and the practice of A.A. principles. To be fully informed requires a willingness to listen to minority opinions with an open mind.

“On sensitive issues, the group works slowly — discouraging formal motions until a clear sense of its collective view emerges. Placing principles before personalities, the membership is wary of dominant opinions. Its voice is heard when a well-informed group arrives at a decision. The result rest on more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ count — precisely because it is the spiritual expression of the group conscience. The term ‘informed group conscience’ implies that pertinent information has been studied and all views have been heard before the group votes.”

– from the pamphlet,
The A.A. Group: Where it all begins. 2005, pp. 26-27.