RE: authentic communication
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 10:31:08 -0800 (PST)
I have a few  obersvations from my experiences as a process coach in
cohousing situations. One, you need to be sure that the people who are
interested and willing to work on this communication do not impose this upon
people who are not. Thus, this should be a separate process from any
mandatory community decision meeting. In cohousing, the notion that, "I did
not move here for group therapy", is a valid one, and some people do not
want to hear about others problems or be exposed to intense emotional
outbursts.  Two, in your communication group, I advise having a facilitator
that understands how to set and keep the boundaries of the group in order to
protect and nurture the environment. If you do not have this skill within
the group, find a local family counselor, they have this skill and sometimes
are fascinated enough with the idea of what you are doing to work for very
low cost. This is crucial especially if you have any patholgy in your group
because things can spiral out of control in a very destructive way very
fast.  Third, make it regular and consistent, eg, the third Thursday of the
month, or every Tuesday. If it is consistent, then people who want to do
this will add it to their busy life schedules. And finally, if you can get a
consistent subgroup of people together you will find that over time, maybe a
year or so, it will pay huge dividends in the whole groups functioning, even
influencing those who have never gone to such a thing. Your communications
behaviors will improve and thus, so will your relationships. 

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School
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