Re: Process Committee Open to All?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 15:15:57 -0700 (PDT)

On May 21, 2010, at 2:13 PM, Michael Barrett wrote:

anyone have a good strategy to encourage and
enable the process and get-it-done people to work comfortably and
successfully together, instead of irritating and frustrating each other.

Screaming and yelling. Kicking chairs. Throwing things. Works pretty well. If it doesn't, start skipping meetings. At least you will feel better. Get you chainsaw sharpened and oiled.

I do needle work during meetings. Both keeps me occupied, giving me a reason to go in the first place, and actually helps me concentrate. Other people pay bills, fold laundry, play games on their computers, work on the jigsaw puzzle. One facilitator ordered us to stop doing all those things but no one did.

We are in the process of writing up our consensus decision-making process and one feature is a test for consensus much earlier in the process -- present proposal, take clarifying questions, test for consensus -- are there any concerns? Then we know what we need to process instead of exploring the proposal and processing all of it when there are no concerns that would prevent consenting, or only one or two that are easily resolved.

On the whole we don't do a lot of process stuff except small groups seem to be hot this season. Fish bowls are on the rise. Some sneaking in of NVC.

Our facilitator pod just organized so they will have lots of ideas for a while. Then it will calm down again.

One of my serious concerns about all the process stuff is that it actually stifles discussion. We don't time to just talk about an issue. We don't follow an argument to a conclusion. We process and write down bulleted concerns which are then dispensed with somehow. Often taken off stage to small groups or private discussions. This may resolve the concern but it doesn't build the kind of community in which people understand each other.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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