Group developers
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 11:37:55 -0500
I agree with the ideas Joani listed for development process as being a
very workable way to get cohousing built in a short timeframe (say 18-24
months). However, one elment I would add is that while the developer is
getting the site and permits and yada yada, there should be a group
developer/facilitator person who is building a group a strangers into a
community, teaching them how to run effective meetings, how to deal with
conflicts and how to effectively communicate. Then, once that training
is done, you start the programming and planning process.  If there was
one general failure I see in cohousing group process is that groups
often get a baptism into group process without any sort of training and
this causes all sorts of problems, usually resulting in people leaving
the group. 

In America, we don't teach people in school about effective
communication, interpersonal relationship or consensus decision making.
Many people come to cohousing with very little experience or training is
how to be a part of a group, and they do it very badly and with luck
learn as they go. Couple this with having to make difficult and scary
decisions, stay up late in meetings, etc and its a MIRACLE that any
cohousing ever has gotten built.

Working effectively in a group is a skill that can be learned by anyone.
It is also key to success in a cohousing endeavor. I am working on some
curriculum called: Becoming group enabled. Some of this curriculum has
been and will continue to be published in my column in the cohousing
journal. If you want the group meeting training notes from the Cohousing
Conference, send me 6 stamps.

Rob Sandelin
22020 East Lost Lake Rd.
Snohomish, WA  98290

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