|Re: Sharing Circles, and Discussion Circles||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 13:26:02 -0600 (MDT)|
At RoseWind Cohousing in Port Townsend Washington we use a set of meeting types first described to us by Rob Sandelin of Sharingwood, and evolved a bit among ourselves. (We have 24 households, most of whom live on site.) We have a "business" meeting once a month. Since we get the closest to full attendance at these meetings, we have noted that they are also good opportunities for community-building exercises, brainstorming and other non-business uses of time. For a while, if there was no Business, the meeting was cancelled, but people objected, and now we have decided to call these not "business" meetings, but monthly meetings, for business AND other stuff. Discussion Circles are usually tools for gathering input from the community about a specific issue. Often they are initiated by a committee or task force, to try out an idea, to learn what other input or concerns exist, and take it back to committee for more refinement, prior to bringing it up as a business item for decision. The advantage is getting to proposals which have a better chance of passing when they are on the business agenda, and letting those who are interested in an issue hash it out and sparing others from having to sit through it! Discussion Circles don't make decisions, though sometimes a near-consensus emerges from those present. We WANT to still allow discussion at the whole-group meetings, and sometimes have to struggle with the impatience of members who feel "Why are you asking this now, when you didn't come to the discussion circle?" Attendance at discussion circles varies with the topic, typically about 12, but running from 6-20. They always feel productive to me. Usually a proposal or description of the subject is circulated via email ahead of time, so those who can't attend, or don't want to, can choose to give input by email or in person to someone involved. Discussion Circles are on one of our meal nights, after the meal. Usually about 4 a month. Sharing Circles are less frequent, but have been well attended. These are about feelings and personal matters, with no intention of coming up with "useful" conclusions, per se, but with the goal of knowing each other better. They can be called by anyone, with a specified topic. A surprising success was a three-part series a couple of people initiated, about health concerns, old age and dying, and legal planning for old age and death. I was able to go to the first one, and it was very useful to learn so much that people volunteered about their physical and mental health, and what sort of understanding or support they would appreciate from others. Quite a bit of information was shared, also, between those with a medical condition and others in the group who had some experience, or from a couple of medical professionals in the group. Given the rather intimate potential of this, it was surprising to me how much people shared, when given an opportunity to do so. And realizing that many of us would be living here, among each other, eventually through disabilities and terminal illnesses, was a rather different perspective than we have day-to-day. I heard that the other sessions were also well attended. Now I see that someone has called a Sharing Circle about "Work at RoseWind." I doubt if we'd currently have much participation in a regularly scheduled circle that wasn't topic driven. Oh, we also have had a yearly "retreat" where we devote a weekend to a variety of activities, some of which are non-business items such as games and skits. Lynn Nadeau PS- I get the list in digest mode and people are being really careless about including great huge chunks of what they are responding to! Puhleeze clip just the bits you need... Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) http://www.olypen.com/sstowell/rosewind http://www.ptguide.com _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.