Process Workshop Recommendations?
From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 10:43:16 -0700 (MST)
Having done a few process workshops for various cohousing groups I'd offer
some advice. Find a way to get a commitment for people to show up. One
pattern I observed was that often important people, who apparently REALLY
needed some skill development, did not show  up. This became almost routine
in cohousing workshops, where I would hear about so and so, who decided to
go sailing that day or whatever. Sometimes a process group would initiate a
workshop because they clearly saw the need for it, but failed to convince
the rest of the membership of the importance and need, and thus people
skipped it.

So before you spend your money, build a groundswell of support within your
membership that this is important. Reach out to people to make them feel
welcome. One of the better cohousing workshops I was part of happened when a
group completely broke down and failed on some important consensus item.
This spurred people to show up, and more importantly, do the work involved
to make things better.

All too often people expect some kind of easy magic wand that will fix
everything and they become dismayed when they discover there is a lot of
commitment and work involved, both as individuals and as a group. So gauge
your group. Are you REALLY willing to do the work involved, or is this just
going to be another weekend blip, forgotten and ignored three months later?

When you finish your workshop, you would be wise to make a set of
implementation plans, with benchmarks and deliverables, and a evaluation
check at some future point. Are we actually following through on what the
workshop taught us? How can we apply and follow through better?

I largely stopped working with cohousing groups out of awareness that I was
not able to really help groups in a long term way, they seldom actually took
on the work, and they were therefore wasting money flying me in to teach
them stuff which they were not able to accomplish. Some of this failure is
certainly mine, but some of it is part of the institutional boundaries built
into cohousing which create limitations on what group members are able and
willing to take on.

Good luck on your workshops, If you find some great stuff I encourage you to
share it widely,

Rob Sandelin
South Snohomish County at the headwaters of Ricci Creek
Sky Valley Environments  <http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm>
Field skills training for student naturalists
Floriferous [at] msn.com


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