The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A Transition Town group involved in preparations for peak oil and climate change; an intentional community, founded with the highest ideals; a nonprofit dedicated to social change—millions of such voluntary groups exist around the world. These collaborative organizations have the unique potential to harness their members' ideals, passions, skills, and knowledge—if they can succeed in getting along together.
The Empowerment Manual is a comprehensive manual for groups seeking to organize with shared power and bottom-up leadership to foster vision, trust, accountability, and responsibility. This desperately needed toolkit provides keys to:
- Understanding group dynamics
- Facilitating communication and collective decision-making
- Dealing effectively with difficult people.
Drawing on four decades of experience, Starhawk shows how collaborative groups can generate the cooperation, efficacy, and commitment critical to success. Her extensive exploration of group process is woven together with the story of RootBound—a fictional ecovillage mired in conflict—and rounded out with a series of real-life case studies. The included exercises and facilitator toolbox show how to establish the necessary structures, ground rules, and healthy norms. The Empowerment Manual is required reading for anyone who wants to help their group avoid disagreement and disillusionment and become a wellspring of creativity and innovation.
Starhawk is the author of eleven previous books including the award-winning Webs of Power. A highly influential voice for global justice and the environment, she is deeply committed to bringing the creative power of spirituality to political activism.
ten people, and one was a man who was so intrusive, rude and insulting that halfway through the session I offered him his money back (a big sacrifice for me at the time) and told him to leave, which he did. The class breathed a sigh of relief and carried on. In the room was Carol Christ, then working on her dissertation in religious studies at Yale, now one of the prime scholars in feminist religious studies, who later introduced me to the editor and publisher of my first book, The Spiral Dance.
one of the most hurtful ways we betray each other. People come to a group looking for acceptance, warmth and community. They have their annoying habits — we all do. Instead of getting feedback and the opportunity to change, they become the subject of gossip. Sometimes “helpful” friends repeat the malicious gossip, which is hurtful. Other times they may never even hear the accusations, but sense the poisonous atmosphere, like an invisible, toxic gas. Or the gossip may go out online to dozens or
videotape recorder.”14 Rick Ragle is at a party at RootBound. He approaches Alice Vlack and when he’s ten feet away, she turns away and walks off. Step two: From the event, I select certain data that may fit my emotional state or unconscious expectations. While most writers assume that the data selection triggers emotion, I believe that the flood of emotion may determine what data we select. Either way, they go together. Rick feels rejected and hurt. From then on, the data he selects, the
own words. A guided meditation is an inner journey, so learn the landmarks and then feel free to improvise. Remember, though, that there is an art to creating a meditation that leads people into their own imagination. It needs to be just specific enough — but not too detailed. You aren’t trying to get them to experience your own inner landscape, but rather to travel on their own imaginary journey. Use sensory imagery — but keep it generalized. For example, “You are walking down a path, and you
They wore dreadlocks, patches and lots of black. TreePeople’s living density in two units would be much higher than elsewhere in the complex. Not all members of RootBound were motivated solely by ideals. Some had joined simply because it was the only way they could afford to own their own home in the high-priced Bay Area. They were worried about their property losing value. Nonetheless, TreePeople were accepted. They moved in and set to work with youthful energy and strength. They transformed