Below are all of the blog entries, articles, and descriptions of past and future events on our website related to Group Process. Can't find something? Let us know
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The culture of consensus is different from the decision-making model most of us have used because the goal is for all participants to consent to the decisions of the group rather than decide by majority rule.
The facilitator plays a major role in integrating the contributions of all members present. By searching for strands of possible agreement, the group members are contributors in the effort to weave together everyone's unique contribution.
To accomplish this goal, facilitators and participants can find a win/win outcome by:
- Being agreement-biased and looking for possible bridges and interconnections between seemingly divergent opinions and approaches.
- Maintaining neutrality around charged issues and engaging in a fair discussion of the issues regardless of personal feelings on the topic.
Participatory workshop using a ‘mind map mandala’ to collectively create a personal plan for living more sustainably in community. Includes an introductory short film, and series of video clips and slides from cohousing and other sustainable communities visited ar ound the US, as well as leaders in the movement such as Chuck Durrett, Raines Cohen, Betsy Morris, Diana Leafe Christian and others. Open opportunity to join in the creation of the Within Reach documentary film project.
PRESENTERS: Mandy Creighton and Ryan Mlynarczyk are traveling 12,000 miles around the US by bicycle on a journey to visit and document people living in sustainable communities of all types. One of the main foci of the project is to explore how people live more sustainably in cohousing communities, as this is the fastest growing segment of the entire movement.
On June 24-28, 2009, our Annual National Cohousing Conference will feature a number of Top Cohousing Process Consultants - some very well-known, established consultants with years of experience with facilitation, consensus training, and group process consultations and numerous Cohousing Communities - and some who's emerging practices are generating new ways of thinking about group decision making.
Those who attend the 2009 conference have the opportunity to enjoy and learn with...
“I trust everyone here,” one of my friends told a new member at Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina, where I live.
“Well, there are people here I don’t trust,” the new member replied with some heat.
The new member had been trained in our consensus decision-making process. Yet soon after becoming a full member she told us that she didn’t trust one of our committees, and — Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! — blocked six times.
This was a useful, though painful, educational process for our community. What had we failed to adequately convey to her in our required consensus training? And why do we assume that new people entering into our decision-making process will automatically trust the community, trust the consensus process, and trust our self-governance process?
In principle, we do not need to know the whole plan in order to take the next step. To avoid a stumble we do not need to see the whole path illuminated, just the next few feet. As if carrying a lantern through the dark, if I take just one step at a time more will be revealed. The light moves with me.
Practical Tip: Just because you cannot see how everything is going to work out, do not let that stop you from taking the next step. If your group seems stuck with uncertainty, ask “What do we need to know JUST to take the next step?” Let that be enough for now. Take a step. As an individual, let go of needing to know everything and trust that your lantern will see you through.
Saturday 10:30 – 12:00 am
This workshop will cover a few of the essentials every meeting facilitator needs to know. After going over basic principles, we'll practice skills such as reflective listening, how to intervene gracefully when someone is speaking too long, and active summarizing. Come try out these key skills in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
Saturday 3:15 – 4:15 pm
Living in community provides us with multiple opportunities for misunderstandings, conflicts, and hurt feelings. A well-done apology can go a long way toward healing a strained relationship, while a poor one can create even more disconnection and distress. After a brief discussion about the components of an effective apology, we will practice them in a supportive environment.
PRESENTER: Eris Weaver is a professional facilitator and group process consultant, providing trainings in consensus decision-making, meeting facilitation, and communication skills. She also serves on the Coho/US Board of Directors. She is a founding member of FrogSong in Cotati, California.
Saturday 1:30 – 3:00 pm
If your meetings have 20+ people sitting in full group discussion for 2 hours or longer, you are missing out. Learn why to consider different formats and what some of your options are. We'll also cover other pointers on how to do effective agenda planning, such as rigorous realism, advance thinking about the goal of each item, screening for what to include in your meetings vs. what to do "offline," choosing an order that follows people's natural energy, and more. Advance planning, while often overlooked, is probably the easiest place to make high-leverage changes to your meetings, because simple changes can lead to big improvements.