En bloc - what does it mean?
En bloc simply means “as a whole”. It’s a really useful tool for many types of meetings.
Here’s how it works and when to use it:-
When you have a number of items about which there is no dissent, it’s smart and efficient to put them all to the vote as one decision.
Let’s say you have 12 items on the agenda that require a decision.
A wise chair will have an inkling as to which ones need discussion and which ones will be agreed.
The chair asks the meeting which items they would like withdrawn, or kept out for discussion.
Let’s say various people say items 1,2,4,7,9,10 need to be discussed.
In a formal meeting, the chair then asks for a motion to move “That items 3,5,6,8,11,12 be moved (or carried) en bloc”. The chair would then put that motion. In the minutes it’s recorded that items 3,5,6,8,11,12 were carried en bloc.
In an informal meeting the chair may simply say, “Items 3,5,6,11,12 are agreed”
After that is done, the meeting continues as normal to discuss and decide on items 1,2,4,7,9 & 10.
This is a great way to save huge amounts of time in meetings. It can be used wherever there is general agreement.
Interesting twists – en bloc can be used to reject as well as agree. So in the example above, you could agree en bloc to reject the items. Roberts Rules of Order calls en bloc “in gross” and it has a slightly different application.
Who doesn’t like this? The people who want to talk on an issue even though there is already agreement.
En bloc – a useful tool to stop tedious discussion on what everyone already agrees.