Re: Participation Agreement
From: Dave and Diane (
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 13:29:50 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all you folks in coho-land,

On Fri, 15 Jun 2007 08:48:44 -0400, Sharon Villines wrote:

The people who say "we can't do this because there is no  law that
says we can" stayed home. Since there was no agenda, in their view,
nothing could be done. That meant they weren't in the room to dampen

On the face of it, this might seem like an excellent way to be efficient and "get things done," but it essentially short-circuits the process of acheiving group buy-in and does not produce agreements that the community will respect.

We had a somewhat similar situation happen about a year ago related to holiday decorations. There may have been a quorum at the meeting and there may not have been--I wasn't there. I do recall that what was billed as a "discussion" meeting ended up making a decision to permanently keep up some holiday lights that
had been hastily thrown up for a party.

One day, three of us who had not attended the meeting were sitting around looking at the lights and one of us remarked about how sloppy they looked. On an impulse, we
grabbed a ladder and took them down in about 20 minutes.

So, yes, you can make decisions pretty quickly in a meeting if you don't send out an agenda and you only have the predisposed people there. But be prepared to have your decisions just as quickly undone when people with another perspective
come on the scene.

I'd like to put in another plug for what I think was the Rob Sandelin "decision board" method of making the community aware of upcoming decisions. Rob, if
you could send us a re-run of that e-mail I would greatly appreciate it.

outreach facilitator
jp cohousing  617-522-2209
Box 300420 boston ma
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