The Work

The work of cohousing is partnered with the social elements of community. We work together and play together and sometimes those two feel the same (because work is enjoyable, productive and inspiring). Our work is an investment in our environment, therefore it is valued and transformational. We find that when we work together on community needs, we become more connected and satisfied with our lives in cohousing.

Synopsis of Responsibilities

Each Tierra Nueva member is expected to contribute his/her “Work Share” in the following ways:

1. Active participation in 2-3 affinity teams
2. Participate in your Micro ‘Hood work (typically once a month for 2-3 hours)
3. Attend monthly business meetings
4. Attend 4 out of the 5 TN Work Days each year

Business Meetings

We meet once a month to make necessary decisions, and we use a consensus style of decision making which we have developed over time. Meetings are highly structured yet observers have often commented on the relaxed nature of the meetings. We manage to accomplish much in a short amount of time and often have fun doing it.

Meetings are run by a facilitator who also keeps the group focused and on task, and directs the discussion so that we make the most effective use of our time. Another resident takes minutes which are then prepared and distributed prior to the next meeting.

A meeting typically begins and ends with a circle check, in which everyone, including observers, may participate. Opening circle allows us to share events in our lives. We then review and consent to the past meeting’s minutes, and at the end we generate a list of the next meeting’s agenda items.

When a member makes a proposal, there is a show of member thumbs to indicate approval, concerns/questions or (rarely) disapproval. The goal is to reach consensus. Though it is sometimes a long process arriving at an agreement we can all live with, group ownership of consented decisions is the life-blood of our community. Meetings end with a closing circle check to wrap things up, air any unresolved feelings, and generally give closure to our collective efforts.

Affinity Teams

The bulk of the work is accomplished through Affinity Teams. Teams meet on an as-needed basis and so wax and wane depending on the type of tasks facing the group.

All residents are welcome to attend team meetings. They are generally less structured than business meetings and focus on specific tasks.

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