Got Conflict? Join the discussion this September in Amherst.

Why can't we all just get along?

Some percentage of people who join a cohousing community do so because they want everyone to "just get along". Idyllic images of not just knowing your neighbors, but also of really liking to hang out with your neighbors flutter through our heads.

And then we move in. Or maybe the first break with that image happens before move-in. Maybe its an email that sets it off, or something that happens with the kids and you have different views of what to do about it or even different views as to what happened.

When humans get together, conflict follows. While there are good books on how to try to engage in ways that reduce the possibility of conflict, in my experience, there is still going to be hard-to-resolve disagreements eventually.

At the Northeast Regional Cohousing conference, I'm offering a workshop on the struggles of handling interpersonal and community conflict with a Community Support or Conflict Resolution team. The timing of the pre-conference workshops will allow us sufficient time to discuss the basics of creating a team and then get into the nitty-gritty.

Bring conflicts you've had to handle, or conflicts you are anxious are developing, or just come to hear about other communities experiences. We will grapple with how to identify if you are looking at an individual issue or a community-wide one, how to balance privacy with the improving the health of the community, what are the lines between what is in the communities power to address and what is not.

Much of the challenge of having an effective community support team requires setting some boundaries of what you handle and how right up front. No matter how well you plan, some things will come up that you were not prepared for. Its never to late to start thinking about how you want your community support team to function.

This workshop is offered by Elizabeth Magill (Liz) who has been on the community support team for Mosaic Commons Cohousing through hard times and easy times, through development, move-in, and now as imagining the next vision of our community life together. Learn about Liz's intensive and register for the NE Cohousing Summit this Sept 21-23.

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