I would like to say that mine is a household where celery never goes limp in the crisper. That whenever bread gets stale and milk sours, I miraculously combine them into a delicious bread pudding. Hah. While I may have great aspirations to using every last scrap of food, the plain truth is that in actuality, I fall far short of this goal.
Sharon Villines, Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
Q: How many communities out there have switched from a unanimous decision-making process to one where there is a real desire for every voice to be heard but if a community becomes stuck and a unanimous decision cannot be reached another method is employed.
In community, and in life, there are many personality types and many ways for those personalities to clash despite everyone’s best intentions to get along. There is a framework from the theory of Imago Relationships that distills this down into two general patterns. I find it useful for understanding a lot of interpersonal conflict and in particular classic conflict patterns for cohousing.
Is there another way to create cohousing? Many of our wonderful cohousing communities have been built on a foundation of member investment with a great deal of support from building professionals. In this week's WebChat, Alan O'Hashi considers a variety of paths to cohousing.
Yana Ludwig's second WebChat was another great success. This time she tackled the topic of Cooperative Culture, giving us 6 of her 10 strategies for being effective in cooperative governance. Yana begins with an introduction to the extremes of the cooperative spectrum and the dangers of overcompensating. Then she guides us toward balance in the middle.
Her 6 shared strategies:
1. Accurate hearing of self and others.
If you can't accurately hear, you can't accurately care.
So imagine this, you’ve had a meeting of your community, forming or
formed, and you could hear some tension in the discussion. Roberto was
really not happy with the discussion. At process check-in the
facilitator asked if he was upset and he said he was fine, he just
needed time to mull over the facts.
And then the next day you get a call from Evonne and she is crying.
“Roberto just emailed me and he thinks I’m trying to destroy our
Shelly Parks of Covision Consulting joined us for her first WebChat and took us through the basics of shifting new members from explorer status to full member status. She explained the stages from defining your path with clear descriptions of what membership is and what is expected at every stage, to walking along with your explorer as they get acquainted and decide to join your community.
Ted Rau, co-founder of Sociocracy for All presented our WebChat last week on Meeting Agendas and Minutes. Read the summary below and watch the full WebChat at this link https://youtu.be/J7HrsF3PXhk
A backlog tracks topics between meetings. It is a complete list of topics to be addressed by the committee or group. Keep this list up to date both by adding topics as they are submitted or suggested and removing them when they are complete.
I started Fair Oaks EcoHousing because I want to live in a friendly community where neighbors know and care about each other. I think we need more neighborhoods like that!
1. It was Love at First Sight
In Fall 2003, I visited my friend Don’s home in downtown Sacramento. When I looked out his kitchen window, I saw a number of other homes facing each other, all with porches, and all facing a beautiful shared green. One of the homes was much larger. My mind was blown. I asked my friend to explain. He said he lived in cohousing. I said “Co-What?”
For our 10th WebChat, Architect Laura Fitch walked us through the process her home community, Pioneer Valley Cohousing, uses for Design Review. In other words, how the community considers requests from members to make changes to the exterior of their homes.