Re: Question about Consent Governance
From: Philip Dowds (rphilipdowdsme.com)
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2018 03:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
Maybe.  But outside our cohousing communities, I think many of us have, or have 
had, consistent experience with careers and volunteer activities that involve 
getting things done on a schedule, even when “done” means less than perfectly, 
or in less than perfect agreement.  I will concede that cohousing is not 
exactly like a job or the Sierra Club or the Unitarian church — but even so, 
it’s not inappropriate to value getting things done.  One of my worries is that 
results-oriented cohousers sometimes get frustrated with inaction and 
indecision, and disengage in despair and disappointment.

Maybe we’re looking for a healthy balance between unanimity and timely results. 
 Maybe some members who don’t get their way could up their game in the area of 
compromise, rather than nurse hard feelings indefinitely.

Thanks,
RPD

> On Oct 23, 2018, at 10:25 PM, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l 
> [at] cohousing.org> wrote:
> 
>> On Jul 20, 2018, at 3:32 PM, David Heimann <heimann [at] theworld.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Just because the objection has been resolved or bypassed in some way, shape, 
>> or form, doesn't mean that the community can simply move on.  Hard feelings 
>> can persist for months or years and pop up again in the most inopportune 
>> circumstances.
> 
> In addition to the processes that David’s community is using now, I would 
> suggest not pushing decisions. Take some time for decisions to make 
> themselves, for people to adjust to adjust to diverse opinions and desires, 
> and for the diverse to meld. 
> 
> The impulse to say we only discuss a topic 3 times before we go to a vote 
> sounds expedient but in the end it isn’t usually necessary and contributes to 
> hard feelings. Maybe once every 10 years or in extreme emergencies when 
> immediate action is required it makes sense. But taking time for a decision 
> to work itself out puts the focus on the purpose of the community and the 
> decision — on the content, not the people who object to what others want.
> 
> We don’t put time limits on decisions and often roll them over to another 
> meeting, even skipping a meeting or two before discussing it again. While 
> everyone gets impatient or bored with one issue or the other, the lack of 
> pressure mellows things out. 
> 
> Some discussions take years but they require that much time to define the 
> options, sort out the possible ramifications, and fully understand their 
> implications in building a stronger community. 
> 
> Our best meetings have been when we discuss issues without expecting any 
> decisions. Everyone is relaxed and comments aren’t viewed as being made to 
> influence anyone. We just talk and there is time to enjoy it.
> 
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> http://www.takomavillage.org
> 
> 
> 
> 
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