Consensus and personal relatiionships
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 12:40:35 -0700 (PDT)
One of the things I noticed back when I was traveling around the country
doing consensus problem solving workshops and trainings was that often the
groups with the most process problems also had the most social problems. In
a few places it was helpful rather than focus on process techniques to focus
on social events and connection work. I was often astonished at how little
people knew about each other in some of the communities I worked with. It
seemed to me that in some cases, energy spent on social gatherings and
informal time together talking about our histories, desires and hopes might
be very constructive. 

Once while visiting a community it was obvious that there were 5 people who
strongly disliked each other.  I separated them out and got them processing
their issues with each other. About six months later I was told that their
process work had improved substantially and things were really going much
better all around.  Within your own community if there is this dynamic
between particular people and it impacts your decision making, it might be
constructive to intervene. 

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Community
Snohomish County, WA

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