Category: Conflict


The Cost of Self Defense

The concept of self defense is embedded in our legal system, tucked into our expectations and folded, perhaps unexamined, into our values. Self defense is the idea that when our intention is to protect self or others, we are absolved from responsibility when our impact is harm.  If someone is killed, it is self defense... Read More

When Someone Wants to Say Something No One Wants to Hear

As cohousers we generally believe in the principle that everyone gets a voice. We think of ourselves as taking all views into account and welcoming differences of opinions.  But what about when we don’t? What do you do if someone has more to say after others in the community are past tired of hearing it?... Read More

WebChat #37: Diana on Challenging Behaviors

98% of cohousers are lovely, well intentioned people we can all get along with, says Diana Leafe Christian in her recent WebChat. But what about the other 2%? What about people who are consistently difficult, who seem to lack a capacity for empathy and care only about themselves. How does community work with them and... Read More

Don’t treat individual problems as community problems

One of the questions our community support team helps to discern is whether an issue is a community issue or a personal issue. While in many cases this is a straightforward, sometimes extra investigating will reveal which type of a challenge we are facing. When Ricardo always parks in the handicap space, without a handicap... Read More

Webchat #30 Conflict as Growth

Karen Gimnig was with us for a WebChat last week with a new look at conflict in community and in life.  While conflict is not always welcome and rarely easy, she suggested that we can embrace conflict as an opportunity to grow.  Conflict arises when something in us that is ready to grow, or finish... Read

WebChat #18 Conflict:Interpersonal or Systemic

Liz Magill offered our 18th WebChat with advice for community support teams who help community members work with conflict. She started off with a list of 8 questions she recommends support teams ask themselves when they receive a request: 1. Is this conflict covered in the committee mandate? 2. Is it an individual or community... Read More

Conflict: Hailstorms and Turtles

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... Read More

Planning for Conflict

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 thefacilitator asked if he was upset and he said he was fine, he just needed time to mull over the facts. And... Read

WebChat #3 Working Constructively with Emotions

The Cohousing Association of the US was delighted to welcome longtime process professional, Laird Schaub for a WebChat on working with emotions. An audience of about 80 people including groups gathered in common houses to watch together. Laird started the evening with an explanation about why you would want to have a plan and practiced... Read More

Facilitating by Intuition

I’m traveling to Durham NC where I’ll be working with a cohousing community (my 61st if you’re keeping score at home). I’ll be using one of my favorite approaches: a four-day intensive immersion. After arriving Wed evening I’ll get a good night’s sleep and then begin work in earnest in the morning. My time with... Read More