Using outside facilitator
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 94 14:53 CDT
Re: Bringing in outside facilitators.

At Monterey Cohousing (Mococo), we have, in 1 1/2 years, brought in an outside
facilitator only once (actually twice, but the second time was a continuation
of the first).  When the original residents were first moving in, remodeling,
etc, and everything was happening at once (architect selection - or was it
developer re-selection, I can't remember)  we had  something of a crisis
develop, and the one thing that was clear was that  no-one in the group (and
several had facilitation/mediation experience) was willing to tackle it.  It
was very important at that time to bring someone in from the outside, and we
learned a lot from the process.  
        Actually (and this is only my view - Monika may want to comment), I felt
that aside from defusing the tensions, the most important thing that came out
was the importance of people speaking up, 1 to 1, and letting others know
things that bothered them.  And taking a support person or finding a mediator,
if necessary.  I.e. trying to resolve problems at the smallest possible group
level, the people involved.  We eventually wound up with some
expectations/ground rules, and haven't brought an outsider in since then.  But
it feels good to have one in reserve.  We found her by networking.

Otherwise, members of the group facilitate.  Process of recruitment is in
revision - it came up at the last meeting - lots of ideas, and the topic was
sent back to oversight team.  

I'd like to see us have facilitator training, but my guess is that we manage
well enough that it will wait.  

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, (MoCoCo)
Twin Cities Area, Minneapolis/St.Paul Minnesota
e-mail: baxter [at]

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