|Re: RIP: Rob Woods Sandelin||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Eris Weaver (eriserisweaver.info)|
|Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2017 07:07:05 -0800 (PST)|
In 1999, our forming community brought Rob in to lead a consensus workshop for us. The work we did together was transformative for me personally and for our community. There are a lot of things I could say about Rob, but the most profound is this story that I now share with every consensus workshop I lead. Seventeen years later, I still tear up EVERY TIME I tell it. Our community had identified a possible property: an old apartment complex, with about 50% occupancy. Some of us saw this as a great opportunity to move into cohousing NOW, at a relatively low price. Others were not so keen on the idea - moving into a funky apartment in a run-down neighborhood did not meet their dreams of a groovy green project with lots of open space. We were totally stuck. No matter how much we talked, whenever we called for consensus (we were using thumbs up, thumbs down at that time) we came up about fifty-fifty. We were paralyzed - we just could not see how to use consensus to make this decision. Rob said: "The reason you cannot reach consensus is that you are not asking a consensus question. When you each put out your thumb, the question you are answering is 'Do I want to live on that property?' which is an individual preference question. The consensus question is this: 'Is it in the best interests of this community as a whole - would it further the group's mission & vision - to purchase this property, WHETHER I WOULD CHOOSE TO LIVE THERE OR NOT?'" A moment of silence…and then EVERY thumb went up. This is the part of the story where I always tear up. I was totally gobsmacked - by the profundity and simplicity of the re-framed question, by the power of switching focus from self to community, by the willingness of my community members to say "yes!" to a decision even though it might mean them leaving. Whenever I'm facilitating a difficult conversation, trying to find a way through to consensus, his words come to me. His good humor and insight has rippled through my community to all the other communities, nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses that we each influence. The world is a better place for his having been here. *************************** Eris Weaver FrogSong Cohousing, Cotati, CA
- Re: RIP: Rob Woods Sandelin, (continued)
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