Two-Thirds Rule

April 8, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Activism

In a meeting of activists discussing strategy, policy or simply process, there emerges an issue that transcends politics, usually even before the meeting begins.


Get mostly guys in a room to discuss the details of an action, and you get chest thumping.  The less the guys have worked together, the more thumping goes on.

Get mostly gals in a room to discuss the details of an action, and you get long, meandering explorations of common ground.  It seems to be the case whether the women know each other well or not.

Of course, there are more exceptions to this generalization than there are cases that fit the rule.  Often, the presence of some non-chest thumping males or some focused, target-thinking females will change the nature of the whole group in a useful way.  Still, over time, this is what I’ve observed.

I’ve found a good mix is 2/3 females and 1/3 males if you’re looking for a group to both bond and get something done.  If the group doesn’t bond, there is no foundation for future actions.  If nothing is accomplished, many folks will not come back.