RE: Developer's Perspective on Coho
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 19:29:23 -0500
Randy Tyler asked:
>Question:  Would it make any sense to use consensus decision making only for
>the more social aspects of cohousing, like how often you prepare meals in the
>common house, or rules about pets, and use a 2/3 majority  (or some other
>majority) for issues related to site acquisition and project development?
>In my experience, there is a level of design decision which does not work
>well using consensus. Trying to reach a consensus on exact color for example
>may be better done with a priority ranking vote, where you list the choices
>and let people vote on them,  and if there is not one clear winner, vote
>until there is.  Then let go and move to the next decision.
>I watched a group of people once spend an inordinate amount of time trying to
>pick a color for some tile. There are some things worth consensus agreement,
>and others I'm not so sure about. Better to carefully pick your places for
>consensus, than have bogus consensus when you need it.
>My experience teaches me that having a variety of decision making systems, is
>a very good approach to group decision making. Then learning which system to
>use, when, is the key.
>My general observation, from fledgling groups trying to get things done, is
>that they use consensus poorly, don't really have a clue how to use it well,
>suffer from really bad facilitation, and generally stumble and bumble through
>group process work.  Spend a weekend getting training on how to make group
>decisions effectively and everything goes SO much smoother.
>Rob Sandelin

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