Are Meetings a Bad Way to Recruit?
From: Al (
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2021 13:43:44 -0800 (PST)
While I understand the impetus for Rob’s words, I must say that meetings ARE a 
major fixture of community life. 
We just had a new family join our Cohousing group. During their orientation, 
our membership process allowed them to attend General Circle meetings. 
They made their decision to join at least in part because they were impressed 
with the way our meetings are conducted. Our meetings are well planned by 
Process Steering, well facilitated, well timed (90 minutes max), well balanced 
between gravity and levity with time set aside for “Sprinklers” which are 
community building fun. 
Potential new members of a community will be attending meetings if they join. 
They should know this and they should also know that meetings are not something 
to dread, but a chance to get to know each other, to get stuff done, to solve 
problems, to dream, to create with their new extended family/community. 
Al Parrish
Waterloo Region Cohousing Project

Sent from my iPhone

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> Today's Topics:
>   1. Old Post worth remembering: Meetings are a bad way to recruit
>      people (Becca-Person Brackett)
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 14:14:48 -0600
> From: Becca-Person Brackett <brackett3 [at]>
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Subject: [C-L]_ Old Post worth remembering: Meetings are a bad way to
>    recruit people
> Message-ID:
>    <CA+D2w7d-mTgZTMfawBTafidMjQUo_k6jqKODASdovNWXjcPZaA [at]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> I was looking around the archives and found this gem from Rob
> Sandelin- may he rest in peace and power.  A parable.
> Becca Brackett, in forming community Cedar Cohousing
> Meetings are a bad way to recruit people
> From: Rob Sandelin (
> Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 21:35:05 -0700 (MST)
> Joe and Lisa are interested in community. They are invited to a couple of
> meetings. Lets face it, meetings don't always go very well, and are not
> really necessarily reflective of what kind of community you will be. They
> see tension, and perhaps an overly controlled environment. Blech! Is that
> what community is about? They get little chance to talk to anybody. It feels
> kind of icky. No thanks they say, this community stuff is not what we
> thought it was, and they are never seen again.
> Loe and Jisa are interested in community They are invited to a group dinner.
> Its a fun social event, they talk to many people, share their lives and
> interests, find out that another couple has a lot in common with them. They
> feel connected, and part of the larger family sense which is a great deal
> more like what the community you are trying to build is really about. Loe
> pitches in with the dishes, Jisa sets up a time to get together with another
> couple. They commit quickly because they understand at a gut level, what
> community is about now. It feels good.
> Somewhere in my cohousing travels I heard this story, where a group never
> invited prospects to a meeting until they had been to at least one social
> dinner first. They had weekly social dinners for all the members, with the
> rule, no business.  Can't recall which group it was, they filled up to
> capacity very quickly though. Anybody on this list from that place?
> A lot of people have NO CLUE what community is  about. They see your
> brochure, they get some concepts. Yes, community has conflict involved, and
> intensity, and negotiations, and personal change and growth. And people
> should know that. But if they don't get a warm fuzzy feeling fairly quickly,
> they might not have the commitment to stick around to see if they ever do.
> Rob Sandelin
> Sharingwood member since 1989
> ------------------------------
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