process people and product people
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 21:19:21 -0700 (PDT)
The question was asked of how to deal with the chasm between those who just want to jump up and DO things, and those who want to PROCESS about the best way to do, whether to do, when to do, etc etc.

Based on 20 years experience here at RoseWind, Port Townsend WA, some things help: a) Decide what can be delegated, without process. If the irrigation system needs fixing, Grounds team can deal with it, and spend money up to what's in the Grounds budget for repairs and maintenance. Finance will decide on what CDs to invest in, and just report it to us. Figure out things that the doers can just do. Work parties, too. Spell out the mandate of each committee. Empower individuals and sub groups to act, when possible.

b) Keep getting better at processing proposals. Use discussion circles to give input to proponents of a proposal, to listen well and hear how people thing and feel about the issue, prior to bringing it to a business meeting to seek approval. Find a system that works and get tough about sticking to it. Things like identifying goals and concerns before putting forth strategies for solutions. When it's efficient, it feels better.

c) Periodically do an exercise with some sort of personality typing. Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, etc. Acknowledge that there ARE different types, and most importantly, that every type does a service for the group. At one retreat we grouped ourselves by types (enneagram, in that case). First we were asked to identify which OTHER group made us nuts: we were quick to agree! We Ones, say, were all impatient with the Threes (or whatever the group was) and we could report why. But then, the leader told us to list what we APPRECIATED about that Other group, and then we shared with the whole group. That was very important. We had the ("chainsaw-running") spontaneous doers saying, "I never have to think about things like the liability implications of an action, because I know the ______s will think of it and address it." And the process folks expressed appreciation to those who translated ideas into tangible accomplishments. It was a big AHA for quite a few people, as group after group acknowledged the value of their opposites.

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
in awe of peonies and giant red poppies in my yard

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