Visitors touring CoHo sometimes ask how our expectations for community prior to move-in differ from our current day-to-day reality.
Comparing “then and now” is the framework for this series of blog postings. The source of historical perspective is the CoHo newsletters published in 2006 and 2007 (they are still available on our website). This was an intensive time, with the primary focus on actively building the community (both in terms of actual construction of buildings and the collection of folks who would be our neighbors).
What were our dreams in 2006? What is our daily life like now in 2014?
First, read the original newsletter (link below), then return to this posting for current perspectives.
Cohousing in Corvallis, Issue 1 – February 2006
CoHoots all learn non violent communication (NVC) and it was put to good use in the Mock Home Selection Session described in the initial newsletter. With all current neighbors making selections at the same time, it was important to understand each others’ needs (within the NVC framework of observations-feelings-needs-requests).
NVC continues to be woven into ongoing life at CoHo. Policies, team charters and other documents include a section on needs (as well as links to our Vision and Values) so we maintain a strong focus on what we are trying to collectively achieve.
We still offer NVC training in-house to folks new to the community (including Friends of CoHo) and we have additional resources (books, CDs, and workshops) to help folks deepen their understanding. There is an NVC team and also a Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Team so NVC has a place in our team structure.
Another element from the mock home selection that is still apparent is our community’s innovative approach to working out mutually satisfying solutions. As needed, we have “invented” creative ways to work together (see posting on our ooching experiment titled “Ooching–A New Step in the Decision-Making Process“). Over time, confidence built as we successfully conquered challenges. Knowing that we are committed to working things out (even though the specific steps aren’t always clear) builds trust.