A Bridging Story
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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