Re: facilitator SF Bay area
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2017 08:14:20 -0800 (PST)
> On Feb 10, 2017, at 3:17 PM, Fern Selzer <fernselzer [at]> wrote:
> We are having our  spring training coming up and our community wants to work 
> on “morale”

This doesn’t address the need for a facilitator but the research on teams shows 
that the most effective method of bringing a team together is success. Suddenly 
all the personality conflicts and past frustrations fade. Energy goes into more 

Ann Zabaldo has organized a facilitator trade through Mid Atlantic Cohousing so 
any community can ask a facilitator from another community to help with 
facilitating a meeting. Best if the trade goes both ways (highly educational 
for both facilitators). But this might be your best choice. Like Eris the 
person will know cohousing and will be an “outsider” too. It might also be more 
easier to do since no money is being spent.

I also suggest doing rounds and rounds and rounds. It gives each person time to 
speak and to hear others. Ask people to talk about feelings. What is going on 
that is making me feel tense or fearful? What is making me feel good?

There is surely a website that discusses morale issues that will give you ideas 
for more questions. Do a round on a question at least twice. Pick up topics 
from the round that could be affecting everyone. Do rounds on that.

Keep the round moving. Don’t do anything to suggest that the facilitator is 
“running” the round but you may need some soft coaxing to stop people from 
lecturing others or expounding at length. And other people not speaking—those 
can be hot spots lying in wait. This is about every person expressing their own 

The reminder I use for myself, most often in hindsight, is that each person has 
a dotted line in front of them and they shouldn’t cross that line with advice 
or accusations about others. Rounds are about the person speaking. 

Don’t get lost by focusing on one problem or person. The focus is on the 
individual in order to bring them all into a group. That means everyone 
collectively, not just the one’s who perceive themselves as aggrieved or as 
peacemakers or problem solvers. A round gives people space to self organize, 
not be organized by someone else.

And read the best quotes of the Dowager Countess to set the tone: (ignore the awful ads)

“There can be too much truth in relationships."
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

  • facilitator SF Bay area Fern Selzer, February 10 2017
    • Re: facilitator SF Bay area Sharon Villines, February 11 2017

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