|Re: How's Your Process/Committee?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Berrins (Berrinsaol.com)|
|Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 01:29:05 -0600 (MDT)|
We had a process committee a while ago. It did a great job of addressing several issues and making recommendations for tweaking the way we hold meetings. As a result of their work, we haven't felt the need to analyze our group process for many moons. That said, I would say the biggest change we have had in group process has come with the changeover from the development phase to being here. The types of decisions we need to make and their urgency has changed radically, as well as the amount of time and energy people are willing to give up from their personal lives for community work (the fun stuff is no problem!!). We were told this would happen, fairly early on, by our development coordinator, John Ryan of Pioneer Cohousing (thanks John!) and began to think and talk about the way we would need to change our meetings before we moved in. The process committee helped a lot here, but being aware of it also allowed us to begin to consciously alter our meeting formats. In the development phase we had a lot of relatively straight forward decisions to make and we often had to make them in a hurry. The process for these decisions favored the highly pragmatic type of decision makers, the action-oriented folks. I suspect that most cohousers, by an evolutionary process of elimination, must have at least adequate degrees of pragmatism; those that don't never get their projects off the ground (or is that on the ground?). Now that we're living here (2 weeks ago we had the first-year anniversary of everyone being here), we have the time to hold longer, multiple discussions on various topics. We don't need to make nearly as many decisions, nor as quickly, as we did during development. However, it has taken some time to ratchet down from the pace we set for ourselves previously. Also, we are doing a lot more work in committees. Finding a balance between how much decision making a committee can do and what needs to be done in a general meeting is taking some time to feel out but I think, with experience, we are getting better. Other problems I see developing now are personal dynamics issues. The action-oriented folks tend to do a lot of work, often on their own, but get frustrated when the group is unable to come to a decision and when others either don't get the work done they said they would or take a longer time doing it than the action-oriented folks think it should take. Other folks show up for a lot of the work groups and/or general meetings and are frustrated that more people don't show up. The policy wonks love to create guidelines and regulations every time they identify what seems to be a problem, while others are so laid back they don't see a problem, so why have guidelines? Some folks feel they have a handle on other's strengths and weaknesses and tend to try to assign tasks based on this (facilitating group meetings is a classic example- people have volunteered to facilitate but get ignored by the "assigners", who continue to look for another volunteer). Some folks are well-spoken, able to crystallize their thoughts into pithy comments that magically elucidate issues while suggesting solutions, others may take a while to get their point across but its worth the wait, if you're patient, while others seem to be 5 minutes behind the discussion, repeating previous comments or missing the point someone else was making. With time I see individual relationships being affected by these elements. Fortunately, I don't see any cliques forming. The interesting thing is that we are all probably all of these people, at least some of the time. It's mostly a matter of degree. This would be a great topic for a process committee to work on. Maybe it's time to get ours back together.... Roger Berman Pathways Cohousing Northampton, MA _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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