PATTERN : PASSER
You "go along" with group activities that you don't believe in, increasing cynicism and your own sense of powerlessness for yourself and your team.
Freedom is the center of The Core. It is essential that all activities associated with it retain their volitional nature. This flexibility serves as the basis of accountability. If people do things because they feel that they are expected or in some way required to do so, they give themselves an accountability holiday. In The Core protocols, the right to passindeed, the obligation to pass when desiredis always available except as otherwise noted. The flip side of this right is that every individual will be held accountable for his Core-related actions.
Anyone using The Core can "pass" on any operation, with two exceptions:
Team members may not pass on a Decider vote unless they were checked out before the proposal was made.
If you call for a general CheckIn, you cannot pass and must check in first.
Explicitly decline to participate when you don't want to do something.
THE PASSER PROTOCOL
At an appropriate time (presumably at the beginning of some process or protocol), say, "I pass." If you know you will pass on something, you are obliged to do so as soon as you are aware of your decision. Once something is started, you can still pass.
A CheckIn is occurring. You don't want to check in, so at an appropriate point (earlier is better) during the process, you signal the group by saying, "I pass. I'm in."
Passing expresses your decision not to participate in an eventthat is, to opt out of a process. Passing sets a margin of safety for everyone. It takes courage.
Passing is always permissible except during a Decider vote.
There is no discussion about a person's passing.
To invoke your right to pass, you must say, "I pass." Silent passing is not allowed. Silence indicates that you are awaiting your turn.
Inevitably others will be curious. Do not explain your passing.
You can "unpass."18
- It relaxes tension.
- It reduces resistance.
- It creates safety.
- It provides a way out.
- It generates wider acceptance of the protocols.
- It exercises self-care.
- It celebrates individual freedom.
When to Use Passer
Do it when and if desiredeven if you just want to see how it feels to pass.
The following commitments are required with Passer:
To take good care of yourself
Not to judge, shame, hassle, or interrogate anyone who passes
Not to judge, shame, hassle, or interrogate those who do not pass
Not to explain why you are passing (no matter how great the urge)
If you feel the need to "punish" the group, or you desire to use passing for some other reason than simply wanting to opt out of some activity, something more is likely afoot. You probably need to check out rather than pass. Like CheckOut, the Passer protocol should not be used for dramatic purposes. A temporary inclination to dramatics is always a good reason to check out.19 The Core is intended to replace needlessly dramatic expression with more deliberate behavior.