OOPS! REVISED posting to Coho-L re Involvement of New Members
From: Diana Leafe Christian (dianaic.org)
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 08:43:40 -0700 (PDT)
(Hi Fred, will you use this corrected version instead? I added some missing words (!) and fixed the spelling. Thanks. Diana )

Each time potential new members might join Windsong Cohousing in Langley, BC -- people who might buy a unit for sell from a departing neighbor -- get a brief orientation through an "Expectations" meeting. Several existing neighbors meet with the people interested in buying the unit. The new people tell their expectations of what they think it will be like living at Windsong Cohousing (and sometimes this can include unrealistic expectations!) When the newcomers' expectations match the experience of the long-time Windsong residennts, they affirm them, and when they're unrealistic expectations, the neighbors tell them that, too.

Then the long-term residents tell the new people their own expectations for incoming cohousing members: that if they buy the unit they hope they will participate in community dinners, join committees, participate in work parties, abide by the group's agreements, and so on. They tell the new people Windsong's mission & purpose, their values, their goals.

Often the potential buyers do join Windsong, and sometimes, after experiencing the meeting they don't buy in -- since their expectations have been examined and illuminated with helpful dialogue and real-life examples.

Windsong has been holding these Expectations meetings over the last year and a half, and they're quite pleased about how well new people are working out. Once, before they instituted these meetings, for example, some former new neighbors expected the community itself --with its own budget and it's own community-alloted labor-hours -- would take care of them if they ever needed taking care of, physically or financially. Ooops!


Diana Leafe Christian

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