Re: Contentious issues?
From: Muriel Kranowski (murielkvt.edu)
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2020 06:57:47 -0700 (PDT)
 Al, I'm not sure how helpful it would be to know the details of
communities' most surprisingly contentious issues since that depends on so
many variables. I think the more significant question you're asking is (I
will restate it as) "How did you deal with it?"

We've had different hot-button issues over our 18 years in residence and
the previous forming years. We brought in super-facilitator Laird Schaub at
least twice for weekend repair jobs when our metaphorical cohousing car
wasn't running right and was making odd noises. Obviously, since the same
part of the engine had to be repaired twice (to keep up my weird metaphor),
we weren't always the best at following his maintenance advice. It's hard
to change decades of hard-wiring on how to handle conflict, even with good
intentions all around.

My takeaway is that you must not ignore conflictual issues or people in
hopes they will go away. The people who appear to be at the heart of the
conflict may finally give up and literally or emotionally go away, but the
community will not have improved its ability to handle such problems when
they inevitably arise again in another form. (Because people.) I think it's
vital to bring everyone together, acknowledge very specifically what people
are upset about, and talk it through.

There's a lot of material you can read about this, expressed better than I
can, but the basic thing is to deal directly with your tough issues while
reminding yourselves of your common values and why you wanted to live in
cohousing.

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