Re: Hiring outside facilitators/professionals
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2020 10:22:45 -0700 (PDT)
My usual advice on this for the reasons Anna noted, I suggest that:

1. In my opinion conflicts are most often not personal but systemic. There is 
something in your agreements/assumptions that is out of kilter. These need to 
be discussed and clarified. New or clearer policies may be the best solution.

Ambassador to the United Nations and national security advisor Susan Rice says 
“Culture eats Policy for lunch everyday.” Culture will prevail and the only way 
to correct or redirect it is to bring it out in the open. Discussion may be all 
that is require.

2. Outside experts. 

Consult facilitators with experience in cohousing living. Cohousing experts. 
Long time cohousing activists. If you have a group of people who are interested 
in facilitation, this is also training that benefits the whole community on an 
ongoing basis. Put them on retainer like lawyers. You don’t need to spend ages 
trying to match facilitator with your community or open the community to 
confusing explanations about itself.

In the case of budget or development issues, hire experts in construction, 
accountants, plumbers, etc., for advice. Above the level of person who comes 
out to do service. Talk to a manager or find an engineer. Or the manager of a 
conventional condo. Bricks are bricks. (Not sure about Republican bricks but 
you get the idea.)

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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