Re: consensus blocking
From: Richart Keller (
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 07:31:16 -0700 (PDT)
I would suggest looking at the Resident Guidelines of Tierra Nueva
Cohousing--available as a download from their web site.  The best I've
I agree that "blocking" should really be viewed as objection rather than as
"concrete blocks".  The injector really has a responsibility to hear and
acknowledge the concerns which engendered the proposal and to work with
others to find an acceptable alternative.  The proposers also have a
responsibility to present clearly the problem to be solved and explain how
the proposal would resolve it.

A durable and successful resolution really has 3 goals: 1) a useful
product, 2) to respect and/or improve the decision process, and 3) to
maintain and/or strengthen relationships.

My experience is that in such cases, repeated rounds do not promote
sensitive listening or improved understanding but rather increase the level
of frustration and a feeling of being "railroaded"...

You are certainly faced with a difficult and frustrating situation which
sounds like it has multiple dimensions. A long-term solution which
strengthens the sense of community may require more time and greater
discernment than the proposal itself would seem to warrant.  Its important
but often not easy for a community to recognize this.  Maybe a more viable
approach would be delegating a small carefully chosen group to work with
the objector and come back to the larger group with a proposal.

Does your community have a mission/vision/values statement which would be

In community.

Rick Keller

On Sep 9, 2013 7:15 AM, "Fern Selzer" <fernselzer [at]> wrote:
> I know this topic has been around before, but our community is
> experiencing frequent blocking by an individual who  explains it in
> terms of her own wants and needs, not the needs of the community.  We
> have been working around this and it has been taking a lot of extra
> time and creating frustrations in our attempts to make decisions.
> Yes, consensus takes extra time, but when one person predictably
> blocks almost every proposal unless it doesn't affect her at all, our
> community is wanting to clarify the "blocking" choice in our decision
> making.
> I am asking for direction from any groups who have clear (written)
> policies about how to handle blocking or determine whether the block
> is legitimate when a group is getting bogged down with a lot of
> blocking.  Could you please send this part of your policy to me, or
> tell me where to find it if it's posted somewhere?
> I am familiar with the article on blocking on the cohousing website
> and our community has already worked a lot on this, including
> professional facilitation, now, we are trying to develop a policy.
> Thanks to any one who can help us in developing our guidelines.
> Fern Selzer
> New Brighton Cohousing
> Aptos, CA
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.