Working with Process Consultants
From: Becky Schaller (
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 23:37:01 -0700 (MST)
Eileen, how did you find consultants to work with you on your process?  One
thing I'd like to see our group do is to find at least one local consultant
to work with.  But I also understand that finding people who understand
community dynamics isn't easy.   So I'm curious.   How did you find people
and do you have any advise for how to look for someone?
Becky Schaller
Sonora Cohousing
Tucson, Arizona

> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 01 Jan 2003 18:13:03 -0800
> From: Eileen McCourt <emccourt [at]>
> Subject: RE: [C-L]_Breakdown of Process in Cohousing
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Organization: Project Artaud
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> I have experienced being the lightening rod in my cohousing group. We
> are ready to break ground, but still need 3 more member households to
> take with us to the bank.  Of course, it has taken at least a year
> longer, and maybe two years longer for some folks, than anyone
> anticipated at the outset of the project.  And we seem constantly to be
> in the balance between the marketing and membership objectives and the
> development objectives.  One or the other is always just a little bit
> ahead of the game which in turn contributes to the delays.
> During the initial design phase, I often felt that I was single-handedly
> managing to the schedule.  Of course that was not true, but it
> frequently felt that way.  The thing that changed it for me was when I
> accepted that I could not control the timing of everything. So if we
> loose some time because of dilly dallying with common house design
> issues? It was simply not going to work to try to force things through
> before the groundwork had been done with enough thoroughness to result
> in a consensus on moving forward.
> But it took no small amount of conflict and outside facilitation to move
> us in that direction.  I was in the thick of most of the conflict, I
> think.  What was really important was a process committee that worked
> actively with the conflict (though not as directly as I would have
> liked).  We began devoting more time during meetings to activities that
> helped us to reveal ourselves to each other.  We had 3 or 4 sessions led
> by outside facilitators at different points where our process was
> getting bogged down by an inability to reach consensus.  In general,
> we've had an intensive weekend about once a quarter for the past two
> years.  We have a consultant that works regularly with the process
> committee to address what is going on with the group in a variety of
> ways, from articulating our vision, to having more fun.
> This is a very organic process, creating a community.  Keep the faith.
> --eileen
> Eileen McCourt
> Oak Creek Commons Cohousing
> Paso Robles, CA

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