Re: participating in community
From: R.N. Johnson (
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 10:38:15 -0800 (PST)
Work participation seems to have definite ups and down for us. Focusing on the 
positive- appreciating the work that is done, emphasizing the party in work 
party makes things go more smoothly.  
Having a group "nudge" who follows up on signing up people who missed the 
meeting/forgot their calendar/missed the work party, as well as sending a quick 
email, call or visit to remind people of whatever they signed up for has worked 
well for us. The nudge should be someone who can remind people in a friendly, 
non-judgemental way. I have been working in my community to discourage people 
from paying too much attention to who they think is or isn't doing the work- 
some people do a lot of work that people don't see, some work hard at 
intervals, with slacker periods in between.  We have one person who rarely 
comes out for a work party, but often contributes a homemade pie to common 
dinner. Granted, it doesn't get the lawn mowed, but it is still a welcome 
contribution to community life.
I would recommend that you match people, especially overcommitted or reluctant 
people, to tasks that they enjoy or that fit most easily into their schedules.  
We have a system where people can pay if they cannot do their hours.  It is 
voluntary, but has worked surprisingly well.  We are low on heavy lifters, and 
the occasional influx of money to hire strong backs has been great.
Randa Johnson
New Brighton Cohousing

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