|Re: Sustainability of community service||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Eris Weaver (eriserisweaver.info)|
|Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:08:23 -0700 (PDT)|
I am enjoying this thread, and Rob's comments particularly resonate with my community experience. I feel like my community (FrogSong, Cotati, CA) has created a culture of generosity, rather than culture of obligation. What do I mean by this? We have explicitly stated and accepted the fact that participation will never be equal. There will ALWAYS be people who do more than "their fair share" and some who do less. Fair does not mean the same thing as equal. If your work expectations are moderate, people can do more out of sense of generosity, rather than having really high expectations and nagging people to do more work out of a sense of obligation. Even if you're doing the same actual work, the feeling is different. If you resent others who do less, because you feel you are doing too much, STOP DOING SO MUCH. If work is not getting done, stop and look at how necessary the work is. What will happen if you don't do it? Maybe it's OK that something doesn't get done. OR, if it IS important to the community but nobody wants to do it, hire somebody to do it. Analyze what people actually do and want to do, and work with that, instead of bemoaning that people don't do what they "should" do. Sitting around nagging each other to do more work, never works. We set up and consented to a system for cleaning our common house, because some people thought it was absurd that we'd been paying to have it cleaned once a week. Charts and checklists were made. Only a few people ever actually signed up and did it. So we talked about it -- while working together on a landscaping day can be fun and community building, many people just didn't feel like cleaning common house toilets was a priority for how we spend our time. So we went back to paying for cleaning, but less frequently. If something doesn’t meet somebody's standard of cleanliness, that person may just step in and DO it to make themselves happy. And others may notice and express appreciation. Everybody should do the work that makes them feel like happy contributors to the community. Once at a meeting when people had been feeling resentful, doing too much, staying on committees that they were burnt out about, I handed out the following to everyone, one at a time, with direct eye contact (I love props & costumes and use them whenever possible in my facilitation): *A gold star to acknowledge and appreciate all the work each person had done * A permission slip to STOP and get off of any committee that was frustrating them/ not feeding them * An invitation to join whatever committee or task force brought them joy or contentment or a sense of accomplishment It nudged several people to make changes, drop off committees, etc. So we had less people on some committees...but guess what? The work still got done, and people were happier. ------------------------------ Eris Weaver, Facilitator & Group Process Consultant eris [at] erisweaver.info 707-338-8589 http://www.erisweaver.info fa cil' i tāt: to make easier
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