Re: Conflict Resolution: Really about Consensus blocking
From: Stuart Staniford-Chen (
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 12:44:21 -0600
Stevenson/Bitner wrote:

> stupid reasons?  Not often, and I think it's because we gave everyone the
> space to have their way.  It's the community's way of saying,"The
> decision is not as important as you are to us" When people are really
> secure about their value in the eyes of the community, they are willing
> to give in on a tremendous number of issues that they used to think were
> important to them.  We had an exercise some time ago that illustrates

I really like this way of thinking about it.

> We can go too far in thinking that fast decision making is the ultimate
> goal.  It's more important, and the reason that most people choose
> cohousing, to feel that you are an accepted member of your community.

The importance of speed varies depending on what style and phase of development
the group is in.  A group is in the thick of building permits, foundation pours,
etc, has a lot of decisions that *must* be made on time.  A lot of careful 
gets sacrificed (and I think it probably has to be that way to some extent).

In the early phases of defining a group vision, and when a group is living
together, there is a lot more scope for doing process carefully and well (and 
more important to do so).

> *any issue that is super contentious at the same time as being nearly
> irrelevant is now known as a "clothesline issue"

Cute :-)


[Former resident of N St Cohousing and possible future resident of Marsh Commons

Stuart Staniford-Chen           stuart [at]
President, Silicon Defense  &&  Asst Adjunct Professor, UC Davis
Voice: 707-822-4588             Fax: 707-826-7571

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