Re: Consensus, Majority Vote, "Blocks" [was Report on Survey of Cohousing Communities 2011. Just released. A must read!
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2011 13:16:01 -0700 (PDT)
On 27 Sep 2011, at 7:56 PM, Moz wrote:

> ok, the big list of synonyms:
>>> willingness to compromise
>> Convergence
>> harmonization.
>> reciprocity.
>> reconciliation.
>> accommodation
>> pleasing

What about problem solving?

Compromise suggests already determined solutions/demands/proposals and each 
side has to give up something. From "a settlement of 
differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of 
conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of 

If the objective is to find the best solution possible to address everyone's 
needs, then commitment to creative problem-solving would be needed. The 
solution doesn't yet exist.

I used to do an exercise in a career planning workshop in which people stated a 
desire to have or to avoid something and then the group analyzed it to 
determine exactly what practical solution would address it. The lesson was that 
we are often perfectly happy with a small change when we are obsessing about a 
huge change. Most of us don't even like huge changes.

One person wanted a red Mercedes. Totally out of the question but a daily 
disappointment, and on weekends led to depression. After many layers of 
questioning about what was really important, it was to have a long drive in the 
country on weekends in a nice shiny new car. Solution: Rent a car once or twice 
a month. Not only possible, but more enjoyable than having responsibility for a 
high-crime-target Mercedes.

Another wanted to live close to work and had spent years looking for a place 
she could afford. Never going to happen. Ultimately what she really wanted was 
to avoid packed-like-sardine-cans subway trains every morning. Solution: go to 
work early and have breakfast at a diner or at your desk.

Often the most seemingly obvious solutions were a surprise to the person 
needing them. But I can't think of any cohousing examples just now.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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