RE: self selection backup plan?
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 11:41:38 -0700 (MST)
>From the groups I have visited, there seems to be pretty balanced approach
to this, for every group that creates a selection process, there is one
which has no selection process.

Although I must point out, that there is often a hidden selection process.
The invisable selection process selects for:
1. High tolerance of meetings, willngness to collaborate
2. People who are like someone in the group that exists when they join, for
example, if there are no _________ people in the group, it is harder for a
_________ person to join than if there is at least one.
3. Risk takers, people who are able to deal with ambiguity
4. Usually folks with secure incomes and some liguid assets
5. People with a high social index, meaning they can socialize well, with
many people.

Other factors can include: People who are self starters, they don't need to
be told what to do. People who are good communicators in groups, people that
are willing to change their use of free time, people that are idealistic,
people that have strong environmental values.

These invisible factors effect your recruiting as well. For example, people
will be more effected by bad meetings, and bail out, than they will over bad
architecture. I have met a whole bunch of folks who have gone to exactly ONE
cohousing meeting, and never gone back. I'll bet you have too. We take lots
for granted and don't often see these things very clearly.

On the flip side, I have seen people commit to a project because of an
empowered meeting, where you could sense the excitement and comraderie of
the group as it worked. Most of what you do as you form is to meet, and
these gatherings are the primary way people experience your group. If its
grim and stomachache laden, who wants to be part of that? As I continue to
tell people, never hold a meeting if you can hold a party instead.

Rob Sandelin
Northwest Intentional Communities Association
Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

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