|A Bridging Story||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Karen Gimnig (gimniggmail.com)|
|Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2018 21:12:31 -0700 (PDT)|
I recently shared some time with a cohousing community talking about community relationships. Like a lot of communities, this group was struggling to find a comfortable shared policy around participation in the work of the community. While this sort of struggle is common, coming together to really listen to each other doesn't always happen. When it does, I experience it as a sacred space. I was honored to share such a space with this group as I facilitated a structured community dialogue called a Bridging Circle. In the first round each participant shared their views. They had been thinking about this for a while and they had some clear ideas about what they wanted and didn't want. In the second round, as the sense of safety grew through the process, values started to be expressed, the energy began to shift toward openness and engagement increase. The third round deepened further and one participant shared a story of another time in her life when she had been hurt by a participation policy in a well-meaning organization. The empathy in the room was palpable, the story became a shared experience, and there was a sense of unity and deep connection in the room. I don't know how the group progressed in their effort to settle on a participation policy, but I know they entered that process from a place of shared understanding and respect that is a rich foundation for community building. I have experienced this kind of sacred space often in using Community Dialogue structures including Bridging Circles. The structure for a Bridging Circle is simple, and the skills needed to facilitate it effectively can be easily learned. I'm looking forward to sharing this tool with more communities later this month as a full day intensive at the regional cohousing conference in Boulder on April 20. There is still room to join in. Register at http://cohousing.org/boulder2018. If that time and place don't work for you, contact me for more opportunities. In Community, Karen Gimnig Professional Facilitator 678-705-9007 www. imago4coho .net <http://www.karengimnig.net>
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