Re: guidlines on consensus acceptance of new members
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 14:01:44 -0800 (PST)
I facilitated a couple of meetings where the original intention was to kick
so and so out of the group. Both times the outcome ended up differently and
the group had a much needed discussion about behavior, communications
styles, and projections. Some additional experiences and conversations have
led me to the notion that sometimes individuals get unfairly targeted for
dysfunctional behaviors that are  group communication problems more than
individual issues. Yes, sometimes a loud, aggressive personality is out of
place in a mild, quiet group, but that does not make their behavior
dysfunctional.  I once watched Laird Schuab facilitate a meeting which had a
very loud and attention demanding person. He intervened directly in the
moment, got the group to set a norm for speaking tone, then moved on. It
solved immediately the problem within the group not only at that meeting,
but apparently with that individuals style forever.  So sometimes group
problems come from a lack of facilitation experience and talent, group norms
and other communication process issues, not personal issues.  Forming groups
have the most group process skill problems. Member training and hiring well
experienced facilitators to learn from might go a long ways to avoiding
kicking people out.  

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood cohousing
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School
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