|RE: I never join a club that would have me for a member||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)|
|Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 17:18:01 -0600 (MDT)|
The message below was written by a person who wishes to share their relevant experience but wishes to remain anonymous due to the sensitive relationships discussed. I know the author and can vouch for their veracity. Fred Cohousing-L list manager -------------------- FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS -------------------- I have enjoyed reading other responses on this thread and have to say that while dealing with difficult people can be a learning and growing experience, I would remind everyone that the concept of cohousing is supposed to make our lives richer and save us some time. When a group spends scores of hours dealing with difficult people, or is forced to repeatedly respond to demands or quirks of difficult people, it is no longer fun, it can drain all the energy from people, and can tear apart a group. This happened to our group. While I would have said our group was very functional (meetings ran well, the group moved forward on building the community including making finacial commitments, we enjoyed each other's company and worked well together) the group allowed itself to spend too much time and energy responding and reacting to a difficult person. We even went into formal mediation to try to resolve the issues. It took the better part of a weekend, not to mention hours and hours before and after to try to resolve the problems. And the hardest part was that this person was one of the founding members. So self-selecting out wasn't much of an option since he/she wanted everyone else to change. We had all invested so much (as all cohousing groups do) and it was so difficult to know when to throw in the towel or how much to accommodate one person's neediness. No matter how invested or well-intended people are, they can have personality traits or behavior patterns that are not only unproductive, but harmful to group process. We had nothing in place to deal with conflict; however, thankfully the mediation process was a free community service and did succeed in bringing out the issues. What it couldn't do was mend the unhealthy behaviors of the problem person. What we didn't have was a way to decide as a group that this person no longer belonged. That the group had evolved to something else and if he/she wasn't happy, then they could decide not to be part of the group. Of course this is so difficult, we live in a small community and naturally have some continuing contact. But the rest of the group has dissolved. The pain and long hours of dealing with this resulted in the group deciding that it no longer wanted to be a group. We were just so drained. I would argue that we would have remained a group and continued growing our community had we decided then to separate ourselves from the difficult person and carry on. But calling that question at a meeting was near impossible since we had nothing in place for how to remove a member. And it was unclear at the time that every other person in the group would have voted to separate themselves. None of us was brave enough to put the proposal on the table to remove the person. I wish I could have. I wish someone could have. We were trying so hard to make it work and to try to accommodate "diversity" and different people. But being so accommodating that you lose yourself or your group or your ideals is the unfortunate tragedy. So this is what I've learned: Get something in place early on to deal with conflict resolution Get something in place on how to become a member Get something in place on how to remove a member (if legally possible - even if it isn't, you could likely vote to remove some privileges if someone is being so very difficult - and then hopefully then the person will remove him/herself) Be careful of needy and controlling people Next time I will trust my gut and not be so accommodating of dysfunctional behaviors Here is an example of a possible membership policy: Voting rights: Members of XX Cohousing Community become voting members with full voting member rights only after living within the community houses for a minimum of three months, and attending a minimum of three community meetings , and the member arranges and attends a community orientation conducted by another community member. Procedure for losing voting rights: Member is told at a community meeting that the community has a significant problem with his/her behavior(s). A committee is then set up to address the problem. Before the next community meeting the committee attempts to meet with the member to discuss the problem and possible solutions to it. The optimal solution is for the committee to solve the problem with a compromise, and publish it at the next monthly meeting. If the member refuses to meet with the committee, or if there is no mutually satisfactory solution that can be worked out, then, at the next meeting the first thing addressed will be the voting rights of the member. Except for the member in question and their partner (if any), if all voting members at the meeting, and those voting members who can be reached by phone reach consensus to rescind that member's voting rights, the member's voting rights are terminated. Appeal of voting rights decisions: Despite the foregoing, the member whose voting rights have been repealed may appeal the decision according to the regular appellate process; however, unlike the usual appellate process, the decision will stand while the issue is debated, and the nonvoting member may not vote to override the consensus. Note: This is only in case the member's behavior changes during the three month appeals process; otherwise it is unlikely that two thirds of the voting community will change their minds. _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
RE: I never join a club that would have me for a member Fred H Olson, April 10 2001
- Re: I never join a club that would have me for a member Hans Tilstra, April 10 2001
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.