Last week I spent a whole day in the wedding tent at Sooke Harbour House. No, I wasn't getting married (the supply of 60-something women far exceeds the demand).
I was learning about meeting facilitation in cohousing communities.
Now, to some of you, that may seem about as exciting as watching paint dry, but when Diana Leafe Christian is the one leading the workshop, it's never dull.
Christian, or DLC as she's known in cohousing circles, travels the world giving workshops on how to create community, and there's a reason for that.
She's really good. And what makes her so good is that she is down-to-earth, pragmatic, and principled, as well as very, very funny.
But while she poked fun at some of the more obstructionist folks she has encountered at community meetings, she was also compassionate.
She pointed out that when people block proposals, it can sometimes come from a place of fear, and we should remember that.
There's so much I could say about what I did learn, but it would take at least four or five blog postings, and that might be a bit much!
I certainly acquired skills that will be useful in any meeting, such as how to tactfully handle someone who speaks too long, or is disruptive.
Most of all, I learned how important the role of the facilitator is to good meetings, and how critical it is that they be a servant of the group.
I'm now hoping to try my hand at being a facilitator, which will be a stretch for this impatient cohouser.
I'll let you know how this latest rock-polishing development works!