Re: Sharing Meetings
From: Alison Etter (
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 08:57:51 -0800 (PST)
Hi Mac - I read with interest you account of Meetings of the Hearts and
Sharing Circles.  Part of the theory, from what I understand, is that
business meetings are easier and quicker because the underlying feelings of
many issues have been explored.  I wonder if you think that your high
attendance at business meetings might be a result of your regular Meetings
of the Hearts?  We are in the beginning stages of exploring Sharing Cicles
here at Roberts Creek Cohousing. So far, we have a small attendance at
business meetings.

Alison Etter
Roberts Creek Cohousing
Roberts Creek, British Columbia

On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 5:33 AM, Mac Thomson <mac [at]>wrote:

> Our Meetings of the Hearts are held every 4th Monday evening.  Our
> Process & Communication team is responsible for them, which means they
> provide a host and possibly a topic, although most of the time it's an
> open topic meeting.  The host simply welcomes everyone to the circle,
> introduces the topic if there is one, and reminds folks of the ground
> rules.  The ground rules are that we use a talking piece (you pick it
> up off the table and hold it when you want a turn to talk) and that
> anyone can request that they do or don't want feedback on what they
> have to share and whether they want their sharing to be confidential
> (not talked about with anyone that wasn't in the circle).
> Our stated purpose of our Hearts Meetings is:  To provide an
> opportunity for open sharing of values and feelings and for the
> community to work on interpersonal relations and group process thereby
> creating a greater level of tolerance, respect, empathy, and
> understanding amongst members, all of which will help reduce potential
> conflicts.
> It's basically an opportunity for us to share on an emotional level so
> we can know others and be known by them and connect at a deeper level
> -- to build stronger relationships.  And then when the the inevitable
> challenges and conflicts arise, we'll hopefully be in a much better
> place to resolve them because of the closeness we share.
> That's the theory.  In reality, it happens to some degree, but our
> Hearts Meetings usually only attract between 5 and 15 people, whereas
> our Community (Business) Meetings usually attract between 10 and 35
> people.  Sometimes the Hearts Meetings are a time of deep emotional
> sharing and sometimes they are just sort of chatty.
> We also have Sharing Circles, which are meetings that are NOT
> regularly scheduled.  Anyone can call a Sharing Circle for any reason
> to share feelings around a topic.  Those maybe happen once or twice a
> year.
> Cheers,
> Mac
> --
> Mac Thomson
> Heartwood Cohousing
> Southwest Colorado
> "Laughter is the Sun that drives Winter from the human face."
>                       - Victor Hugo
> **********************************************************
> On Feb 5, 2009, Sharon Villines wrote:
> >
> >> We call ours the Meeting of the Hearts.
> >
> > I would be interested in knowing more about this.
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