|Re: Consent or Consensus||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)|
|Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 12:57:29 -0700 (PDT)|
Although this might a voice in the wilderness, I teach and believe that consent is asking the group for permisison to go ahead. it does not mean, I agree. When I consent it means, I give group permission at this time to move ahead with this decision. Should new learning or information arise which changes important aspects, we will reconsider this decision. In the world of cohousing there are sort of two stages of deciison making. The early stage of formation and development there are decisions that must be made which really can not be changed, or certainly not easily changed. Construction details are seldom changed later. Having this experience, where you are making a bunch of unchangable decisions leads to lots of scrutiny and even some fear of making a mistake. What I have seen happen is that this same level of fear and scrutiny then gets applied to living together decisions which are easily modified and changeable. A pet policy can be changed at any time, a decision about what kinds of vegetables to plant in the garden can be pretty easily changed. The shingles you choose for your roof will not be easy or cheap to change should you not like them. It is a psycologocial barrier for some people until they come to understand that decisions CAN be modified later. When folks who are afraid to make a decision can not give permission to move ahead, sometimes putting a time frame and a reconsideration window on a decision can help ease their fears so they can give permission. If it's implicit that the group will review this decision in 6 months then it can ease fears of making mistakes or not including something which might come up. I used to coach groups with the idea that you are living in a giant experiment so go ahead and try things out. Experiment, fail, try it again differently, experience it several ways. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, embrace them, learn from them. Be bold, encourage invention, give each other opportunities. Don't expect to get it perfect on the first try, expect to modify and change your approaches over time so don't get hung up on little details or what if's. Try it out, modify, try it out again. Ask for new ideas. In 15 years the Sharingwood meal process has changed dozens of times, and we are currently reworking it again, trying out a new idea each month. Community is not a destination where everything is figured out and done, community is a ever on going road trip of process and relationship, with short stops of stability along the way and lots of people driving various directions. You may never have permanent meeting process, dinner process, interationship process because along the way new people will join until they replace everyone who created those processes and they will want to invent their own to suit their needs. A story I heard once at a communities gathering. A person left a vegan community for three years, returned for a visit and was shocked to see the group offering hamburgers at a meal. The groups values around food had morphed, the individuals had not. Communities are dynamic, changing places. Hold on to your hat, the ride can be bumpy, but like a rollercoaster, it can also be very exciting. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood Cohousing, Snohomish WA Naturalist, Writer The Environmental Science School http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm ><((((º>`·..·`·..·`·...><((((º>...·`·..·`·...><((((º>.·`·..·`·...><((((º>.·` ·..·`·...><((((º>·.. ><((((º> ·`·..·`·...·..·`><((((º>.·`·..·`·...><((((º>.·`·..·`·...><((((º>..·`·..·`·.. .><((((º>·.. ·`·..·`·....·`·..·`·...><((((º> -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.9.9/382 - Release Date: 7/4/2006
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