It's my sincerest wish that any candidate in this election can help take Our Druidry into the next age, even if we're a bit late. With a stunning enough entrance, one can afford to be fashionably late. From here on out, we need to make every step count. May it be so.
Now... we ado no further. To the questions, we go:
How do you take feedback and criticism from peers and those you serve?
With most feedback and criticism, I'm very receptive. I've accepted that I'm not perfect, have blind-spots, and can't always do all-the-things. When not on the same page, I prefer to have dialogue with folks to try and get to shared-truth through that dialogue. Also, I like to enlist the aid of the critics and feedback-givers to help me deploy our stronger together-plan. The more committed they are to help, the more enthusiastic I am in receiving their feedback.
How do you react to people who disagree with you?
Like most folks, I'd suppose. I have a spectrum of reactions that depend on a complex, causality-matrix, and applicable levels of obligation to the person disagreeing. I commonly try and directly engage the person with an invitation to dialogue. Beyond that, we'll see how it goes together.
I've unfriended people I've known for 25 years because of their feelings toward people of color. I've walked away from friendships I've had since childhood for principles. I've vulnerably opened up and saw things from others' points-of-view. I've tried to work with folks to at have a shared truth, even though that truth is more complex than black and white, right and wrong.
At the root of my reaction, ultimately, is the discomfort of the challenge to hold space for both of our truths to exist (if possible), while we look at this together. Challenges are hard... guess they wouldn't be challenges if they weren't.
How are you going to improve the communication between MG members? Not with the membership, but between individual members of the Mother Grove.
If they have communication accessibility needs, I could offer suggestions for solution options, and help to ease any transition to a new communications workflow.
If they have intra/interpersonal communication needs, I would research and present the names of third-party consultants to come in and deploy healing methodologies between individuals, and more skillful, future-communication modalities for the group. To me, that'd be the best solution I could offer from my elected MA position. If they don't take the suggestion, I would let membership know of their choices, as I'm serving their advocate.
What experience do you have with Robert’s Rules of Order?
Marginal experience, at best. I've been going to a couple great websites since receiving this question (www.rulesonline.com and www.robertsrules.org) and learning more. If elected, by the time I take office, I'll be considerably more familiar with them.
Yesterday, I talked about consensus vs. consent decision making and leadership, and my desire to get us into a new modality of decision-making, If Robert's Rules can work within the consent-model, let them be welcome, but if not, let's explore new options.
These next two questions were asked to me directly, and as such, you shouldn't see these being answered by other candidates (but who knows... maybe some folks will be inspired. They were on Facebook, after all). That being said, on to the questions:
To use the building analogy, I'm interested to know what parts of the structure do you consider to be unsound? I see the vision and principles being the foundation. Do you agree that they are sound? Is it possible that the building needs major renovations? If that is your thought, then we are on the same page.
We have a vision statement that reads more like a mission statement.
Our principles are a solid foundation, but we have work to do in terms of creating a mission and vision with attainable goals. We spent the last 30+ years building a foundation, and at that rate "foundation technology", metaphorically speaking, had advanced quite a bit.
We have outgrown our original design and are in need of some major renovations to bring us into alignment with current best practices for nonprofit religious organizations.
With luck, the SWOT analysis and Strategic Planning can help with the above.
So... same chapter?
I have been advocating for organizational change since before I joined the MG. I truly believe that we will get there in the next 5 years. Is that too slow for you? Where do you see the fundamental flaws in the structure?
Depends on the changes, honestly.
Changes in policies (not to mention hearts and minds) so they attract, encourage, and support LGBTQIA+ members, Members of Color, and other marginalized populations need to happen in WAY LESS than 5 years, since we're already overdue on adopting current best practices, not only in nonprofit organizations, but in the religious sector, as well.
Modern study program interface? I can wait 5 years for that. New website? Immediately would be nice, but I could wait 5 years for that.
Human rights and social justice? I'm looking for the no-waiting queue.
Well y'all, we made it to the end of the questions (thus far).
Ultimately, it's up to you if you want someone who does what I do, believes what I believe, and feels how I feel in the position of ADF's Members' Advocate. I'd be honored to serve, if you'd have me.
Be mindful with your votes, and join me in the prayer that Our Druidry can become what the greater world needs... today... now.