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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