Re: Feedback on Participation Policy - random thoughts
From: Alan O'Hashi (
Date: Mon, 13 May 2019 05:51:29 -0700 (PDT)
Chris, et al. - Here are some random thoughts. I suggest that when it comes to 
participation, that communities shy away from "outside world" correction and 
terms like "arbitration" and "contracts." I don't think locking down particular 
processes are that useful either.

At my place, we went through this. We have a few who have had a tough time 
shaking their "outside world" top-down approaches and have problems adapting to 
a flat management approach of shared leadership in a consensus environment.

One neighbor proposed a signed binding contract, another neighbor responded 
with something like "you'll be hearing from my lawyer" which pretty much 
stopped that effort and it evolved into a permissive, optional, non-binding 

I am one who believes that by being in cohousing each of us entered into a 
social contract with our neighbors to do our fair share - not more than our 
fair share - to help get the work of the community done.

My choice, was to not sign the contract and got into a shouting match with a 
couple of my neighbors about that. Turned out it was more about their obsession 
with my lack of compliance, rather than anything to do with community 

I don't think I'm out of bounds here speaking in an absolute that all 
communities have at least one chronic over achiever who wants to have their 
fingers in every pie or play some role in how all decisions are crafted. That 
mentality is detrimental, and in my view, what causes problems with imbalanced 
participation in community.

Community members who entrench themselves into their niches, rather than 
sharing leadership, stifle participation. If there is no opportunity for cross 
training or giving growth opportunities to others, then it ultimately decreases 
the available jobs and leaves others few options accept to take the sh*t duty.

We have our fair share of slackers. I put myself in that category. I don't do 
much more than what is expected, which isn't much. We are expected to be on one 
team, lock up the common house now and again and attend community meetings.

We have some people who are physically incapable of doing much of anything. 
Around here, just about every task has value - laundering the cloth napkins, 
replenishing the dog poop bags. While I don't know of a case that it has 
happened formally, our steering team is empowered to cut people slack. 
Generally, customized work plans are decided less formally.

Alan O. 

Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
EnviroCultural Organization Systems
Colorado 303-910-5782
Wyoming 307-274-1910
Nebraska 402-327-1652
  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.