|Consequences of behavior: Was Arguments and Arguing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousemail.msn.com)|
|Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 08:04:04 -0600 (MDT)|
In a group living context there are consequences for behaviors. Some consequences are things that support the group in its work, some detract. As Stuart pointed out, there are clear, observable consequences to the behaviors of yelling and name calling. For example, If I hear one neighbor shout at another: SHUT UP YOU A*HOLE YOU DON"T HAVE A F*ING CLUE It would have a consequence on my reaction to that person in the future, eg, I don't ever want to be yelled at like that so I will start distancing myself from that person. As a non-participant in the argument I am still effected by it, and my behavior is not necessarily one that I am aware of. It may be months later that I come to realize that I have distanced myself from this person, why is that? There are lots of behaviors in a group. SOme are obvious, some are completely hidden, like topics that the group does not talk about. For example, one group had a shouting match over childcare at meetings. That topic would not come again because people were afraid it would cause another shouting match. It is very useful to have someone (better yet a team of people) paying attention to the process, to make observations about the behaviors and the consequences of behaviors, and to make those observations known to the group, as appropriate, to decide whether or not to work on them. Typically most groups fail to do this because it is a great deal of work, and they end up with lots of good things that they miss and distracting or dysfunctional things that they never deal with, which may or may not become factors in driving people out of the group. I teach my facilitation students that one of the key skills of the facilitator in an intentional community setting is observation of behaviors. There are lots of ways to go about this, but the important point is that somebody should be paying attention to them, thinking about them, and thinking about how to support the group by reinforcing behaviors that help the group relationship and calling into question behaviors that detract from the group relationship. Rob Sandelin Northwest Intentional Communties Association Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time
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