|Re: Feedback on Participation Policy||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Elizabeth Magill (pastorlizmgmail.com)|
|Date: Tue, 14 May 2019 17:46:59 -0700 (PDT)|
I'd like to speak on behalf of the personality type that likes to know expectations. I don't actually care (very much) if everyone else is doing what they should, and I don't care (very much) if work or participation rules are "enforced" But I want to know what the community's expectations are of me. So stating a number of hours, one that the community has put some thought into, would be something I would love. I would love that whether or not there was also a tracking system or a way to have accountability. Just saying. Liz Mosaic-Commons Cohousing in rural(?) Berlin, MA. On Tue, May 14, 2019 at 10:54 AM Mac Thomson via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> wrote: > > Chris, > > I think many of the concerns expressed in the post you shared have some > validity. Having clear expectations (obligations?) is helpful, as is having > some way to ‘enforce' them. > > Our expectation is 25 hours of community work per adult per quarter. (Being a > rural community, we have lots of work to do.) So we have a pretty clear > expectation, but no enforcement. A big part of the reason is that enforcement > is such a toxic word. No one wants to police their neighbors. > > I believe that Pioneer Valley has a hub team that ‘enforces’ work > participation. I think they stay on top of what everyone is doing and make > sure that everyone is contributing in some way. Maybe that’s all that’s > required — some level of people paying attention to who’s doing what. > > In our community, we have no hub team and no one paying attention to who’s > doing what. But of course, people do pay attention, but in a very inexact > way. Jobs that are highly visible, like cleaning the common house, get seen > and appreciated. Other jobs are behind the scenes and therefore unknown. > > IMO, we would be better off if we all knew that someone was paying attention > and making sure that everyone was contributing. As it is, many people form > assumptions about what others are doing based on very incomplete observations. > > I’m intrigued by Tom Smyth’s Gather system that makes participation more > transparent. Maybe that’s all it takes, for people to know that others are > paying attention. I think it’s human nature, and not the best part of our > nature, that we behave differently when no one is watching from when someone > is watching. Sad, but true, we tend to behave better (do our share of the > work) when we know someone is watching. > > So in my mind, some way of monitoring work that is subtle, kind, and > transparent would be good. Mind you that the transparency doesn’t have to be > available to everyone in the community, but just knowing that someone is > paying attention gives others security. Just like in our community financial > system. We don’t all need to see all the monthly household billing details, > but it provides great security and comfort knowing that our bookkeeper is > making sure that every household is paying their HOA dues. Imagine the > discomfort and angst if we simply said everyone is expected to pay their > share and then payments were made anonymously with no one keeping track. That > would likely lead to lots of unpleasant assumptions and judgements. > > One other thing… > We do allow members to hire other members to satisfy their 25 hour work > expectation and that has worked well. Members with lots of time and little > money can work for members with lots of money and little time. Seems to be a > mutually beneficial situation. The thing that would make it better for us is > more transparency. Right now we only hear through the grapevine who is being > paid to do work for whom so we’re left guessing who’s doing their work share > and who’s not. > > Work participation in communities is one of the top 5 tricky community > topics. Good luck. > > Cheers, > Mac > > -- > Mac Thomson > > Heartwood Cohousing > Southwest Colorado > http://www.heartwoodcohousing.com > > > "Too many wish to be happy before becoming wise." > -- Susanne Necker > ********************************************************** > > > > > On May 12, 2019, at 5:56 PM, Chris Terbrueggen <christopher402 [at] > > gmail.com> wrote: > > > > Greetings, > > > > Members of Linden Cohousing/ CohoMadison have created a participation > > policy that is working it's way through committees. One of our members > > expressed the concern below. I would like to get some experienced feedback > > on the costs and benefits of starting with a participation policy that > > focuses on using a Participation Hub or team of members from different work > > groups to get all members involved in the work of the community. However, > > our current draft policy does not state a specific hour requirement. We > > wanted to build a culture of participation first and not have a team that > > monitored each member to see if they completed so many hours of work each > > month. > > > > Thanks, Chris Terbrueggen > > Madison, WI > > > > "I had a question and concern about what the options are if someone is able > > to participate in the shared work, but doesn't. The group believes that as > > a last resort, arbitration will resolve the problem. Upon reflection, I'm > > not sure that arbitration will resolve the situation. > > > > Basically, the participation policy is like a social contract. However, In > > its current form, I'm not sure the policy is "enforceable" in arbitration > > or elsewhere. The policy does not say what amount of time, on average, a > > resident member is expected to contribute. And it does not indicate that > > if people don't do their work, there can be an economic cost to the > > community, if we have to pay people to fill in the gaps. Or the social > > cost to the community, if some people feel unfairly burdened by the > > workload and resent it. > > > > The line about not paying anyone to do work I understand, but it could be > > helpful to clarify that part and add a line or two about why we don't pay a > > community member to do work. Otherwise, in arbitration, that clause could > > be used against us. > > > > I suggest adding an average time commitment per person, adding that one > > person not fulfilling their obligation (a stronger word than expectation) > > can have a financial and social cost to the whole community. And > > clarifying the part about why members can't pay each other to take over the > > work. With those details added, the policy/social contract would be more > > enforceable in arbitration. Worst case, the person refusing to do work > > would have to reimburse the community for the average hours and that money > > would go to offset the cost of hiring outside people so dues don't > > increase. A dues increase would disproportionately impact the lower-income > > members, threaten their financial stability, and could threaten the > > long-term stability of the group. > > > > I know that we are generally an optimistic group, but good planning > > requires looking at the worst-case or bad-case scenario and see what we can > > do now to prevent that from happening. This member non-participation is a > > real problem and occurs repeatedly in cohousing. It usually gets worse > > over time as the new less-committed people move in. It WILL happen > > eventually, even at Linden. What can we do now to minimize the chances of > > it happening and minimize the negative financial impact to the rest of the > > community if it happens and persists?" > > _________________________________________________________________ > > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: > > http://L.cohousing.org/info > > > > > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: > http://L.cohousing.org/info > > > -- -Liz (The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries www.ecclesiaministriesmission.org www.mosaic-commons.org 508-450-0431
- Feedback on Participation Policy Chris Terbrueggen, May 12 2019
- Re: Feedback on Participation Policy Chris Terbrueggen, May 15 2019
- Re: feedback on participation policy Fred-List manager, May 14 2019
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