Re: The reverse of one person blocking consensus
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 07:48:20 -0700 (PDT)
On 7 Jun 2012, at 2:33 AM, R Philip Dowds wrote:

> We've never had a situation where the same proposal keeps coming back and 
> failing for the same reason.  The problem we have more often is that 
> proposals never get made or discussed because the likelihood of failure, or 
> unpleasant interactions, seems too high.

We also have this problem. I hear people saying "but we wouldn't do it" when it 
was never proposed. A person or a team dropped the idea based on a chance 
comment made by one person who was probably not even listening carefully.

I'm reading a very helpful book called "Habits" reporting the research on 
establishing winning practices. They are based on using our current cues and 
rewards but planning new routines to achieve the rewards when the cues appear. 
This reinforces good habits. Good habits are valuable because once established 
they become effortless and support the development of other good habits and 
develop will power. It's well written, easy to read book based on telling the 
stories of how sports coaches build a winning team out of failures, failing 
corporations refocus and become leaders, and fast developing companies like 
Starbucks manage to train 1500 new employees every week. 

I'm think carefully about how to use it to teach people about community 
organization. How do we make good organization effortless? By building good 
habits in relation to our decision-making processes, implementing all the good 
policies we've developed (and don't even remember), and holding each other 
accountable for the actions we agreed to hold ourselves accountable for.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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