Half-day workshop for cohousers on June 26
From: Diana Leafe Christian (dianaic.org)
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 10:03:26 -0700 (PDT)
I'm doing a half-day workshop for cohousers -- "Antidotes to Five Common Kinds of Community Conflict" -- in Seattle on Friday afternoon, June 26m from 1:30 to 5:00pm. It's about skills for building trust and connection and reducing conflict in existing as well as in forming cohousing groups.

It focuses specifically on crucial organizational "structures" that, when missing, can create what I call “structural conflict” and lead to failure of forming-community groups (or wrenching conflict in existing groups.) Details below.

While it's a pre-conference workshop at the June 24-28 National Cohousing Conference hosted by Coho/US, one doesn't have to attend the conference to participate in the workshop. If you live in the Pacific Northwest or will be in the area and would like to take this half-day workshop -- or know someone who would -- you can register for it online at http://www.cohousing.org/2009/pcw/antidotes
The cost is $60.

However, there's an opportunity to attend the workshop free, through a promotion on a Seattle-based online permaculture and intentional community forum, permies.com http://www.permies.com

My friend Paul, the forum host, my is offering a free admission to the person who posts what he considers the most interesting or stimulating comment about cohousing or intentional community in general in the "intentional community" section of the forum. http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/6.0 (The four runner-up folks will get a copy of my book on starting new communities, Creating a Life Together.) Paul has two goals: to help me and help Coho/US, and to generate lively conversation on the forum!

To learn more about the promotion, please go to 

To enter this promotion, please go to http://www.permies.com and join the forum, then post a comment in the "intentional communities" section. You'll see different conversational threads in there, some of which I've posted comments in myself.

If you have a friend in the Pacific Northwest you'd like give the workshop to, please enter the promotion even if you live far away yourself.

Workshop topics:
* "Structural conflict" and how to reduce it.
* Various methods for building a greater sense of trust and connection in the group. * The cycle of building trust vs. erosion of trust – and what a group can do about it.
* Helping people stay accountable to group agreements.
* Creating a graduated series of consequences for those who may violate agreements.
* Communication agreements for meetings.
* The "Board Game," which illustrates the significant, mutually influencing relationship between the group's mission and purpose, decision-making method, and new-member policy.
* How to deal effectively with “the challenging group member.”

The workshop format includes lively exercises, a humorous musical skit, and vivid anecdotes about real problems and their successful solutions in healthy, thriving cohousing communities (and cautionary tales from forming communities that failed).

As presenter of the workshop I draw on the research I did for my book on starting new communities, work as a consultant to communities, experience in the communities movement, and my own experiences living in community.

The workshop location is Gould Hall, Room 3, University of Washington, 3986 University Way, Seattle. One doesn't have to pre-register to attend; one can just show up and pay at the door.

Please pass this message on to anyone you think might be interested. Thanks very much.


Diana Leafe Christian

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