|RE: Dogs, clotheslines and other related matters||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousemail.msn.com)|
|Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 20:46:41 -0600|
There are dozens and dozens of things that will arise which have potential to "keep the pot stirred" in the venacular of a friend of mine. The issue of the week will change and have different people aligned on it. One week it may be how to deal with slugs in the garden, another may be cats killing birds, then kids behavior at dinner will raise to the forefront and perhaps renters will come up next. Living in a community setting means learning how to deal with all these things. This sometimes catches people by surprise, and also can cause some dismay. Rather than try to set up solutions for problems you may not have, you might be better served to create a culture of paying attention to problems, working in small groups, and deciding on HOW to deal with differing levels of issues. Trust me, involving the whole group in everything will burn out even the most hardcore members eventually. You will want a process to define what are problems the whole group should grapple with vs. those which a subset can run with a solve. The garden issue you mention is a classic small group issue. Typically only a handful of people will actually be interested in the garden and those people should decide. Gardens are like woodworking shops. Lots of people SAY they are interested, but you will notice that only a few really put time and energy into it. The greatest difficulty will be setting up a system so that issues do NOT get ignored. This is the most common group dynamic problem I see, and it is very easy to ignore things, in some cases it is what people want to do. They will avoid talking about or looking at issues because it can be messy or require a lot of time to deal with so its easier just to pretend it does not exist. I worked with a group on their pet issues which had escalated to the point where people had left the group. They were all in denial about it, I forced them to confront the issue, they did not like it at all, had been avoiding it for months, and finally the dam broke and it was really a gut wringer. If they had worked on it when it first became an issue it would have been SO much less intense. Instead, all this polarization happened and incidence built up like a pressure cooker until it exploded. We handled the explosion in that case pretty well and found once it was over, that people were very releaved. When I examine groups and their problems I find there are often no processes in place for people to deal with their issues. Often these issues don't fit in the business meeting agenda, and people may be unwilling to bring certain things in front of everybody anyway. In my opinion, your best work might be to design a meeting or communication structure where people can bring up their issues in a comfortable and non-threatening way. I have lots of examples of how to do this. E-mail me for ideas if this is something you want to explore. Rob Sandelin Floriferous [at] msn.com Northwest Intentional Communties Association Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time
- Dogs, clotheslines and other related matters MartyR707, February 4 1999
- Re: Dogs, clotheslines and other related matters PattyMara, February 8 1999
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