Communication efforts
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 09:00:27 -0700 (PDT)

 Becky M. Pulito Asked, among other things: How to smooth the communication
pathways and figure out. whatever we need to figure out??

 At Sharingwood we have two processes which might be of use. One is the
sharing circle. This is nothing like a business meeting, instead it is a
place to connect and talk about any topic that those present want to bring
up. It is personal, the expectation is to listen and support not to get your
way or decide anything.  Often there are candles, and we use a ceremonial
talking stick, whomever holds the stick has everyone's complete attention.
The stick is passed when the speaker is done. Whomever shows up
participates, anyone can call a talking circle at anytime to help them get
through something or understand something. 

Another thing we do is called open space, where we allot about 30 minutes of
time in the business meeting for discussion of any topic that comes up. The
facilitator makes available half sheets of paper and people who have a topic
write it on the sheet. They then explain what that topic is about (if
needed) and each topic claims a space to have a small circle in and people
break up into small groups and talk. The ground rules are simple, you can
move from topic to topic if you like, whomever shows up into the circle are
the right people.  In this way, many things have been talked about, ideas
exchanged, and courses of action begun which might show up later for
agreement at a future meeting.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Community
Snohomish County, WA


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