"StellarI was really, really impressed. She's great."
Chuck Durrett, The CoHousing Company; author, Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves
"Tree has the rare ability to guide a group towards finding its commonality, while honoring the diversity of views it holds. I heartily recommend her work."
Jeff Grossberg, Executive Director, Boulder Waldorf Foundation; President, Eastways Consulting
"Tree Bressen's skills in identifying and revealing shared beliefs in a group is one of the most convincing arguments that consensus decision-making is possible that i have ever seen. I have seen her take acrimonious uncooperative groups and guide them to a shared vision and plan. She is neither a miracle worker nor a magician, but often it is not possible to tell why not. Tree Bressen delivers on the promise that meetings can be both fun and effective and most important, after she leaves, her training empowers folks to continue on with these new sharpened skills. I have been to well over a thousand facilitated meetings in the last 25 years, and Tree Bressen is perhaps the best facilitator i have ever worked with."
Paxus Calta, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) (Washington, DC)
"There are two qualities about Tree's group work that most jump out for me. First, her fearlessness in tackling hard issues. When the going gets tough, she does not blink. Second, her deep dedication to bringing her honest self and making room for the truths of others. Rooted like her namesake, you never have to guess where Tree stands: what you hear is what you get."
Laird Schaub, Executive Secretary, Fellowship for Intentional Community
"Tree's strong, caring, and competent style was a boon for all of us. Her inimitable smile and positive, hopeful presence made everyone feel comfortable and free to express themselves. She served as lead facilitator for several hours of community process on a difficult topic and helped us to make substantial progress. In the Facilitators' Training, her sessions on Consensus 101, Agenda Planning, and Facilitation Role-Playing were very well-planned and thought-provoking. She allowed time for everyone to be heard, but kept us on track to complete the tasks and meet the goals that we established at the beginning of the weekend. A year later, we have a Facilitation Group which meets regularly and provides leadership for what most community members agree are more productive and enjoyable Community Meetings."
Karen Kairys, Sunward Cohousing (Ann Arbor, MI)
"Thank you so much for your participation at our conferenceI'm still impressed that you were able to pull off a genuinely interactive keynote in a crowded hotel ballroom. You were a joy to work with, and I really appreciate that you took the time to understand the specific challenges our volunteers face. I haven't been able to get through all of the evaluations yet but I'm seeing nothing but positive feedback about what you covered so far. I had a few people pull me aside on Saturday to tell me how perfectly your training aligned with what their needs and challenges are, and people really connected with and appreciated how you modeled the skills you were talking about."
Anna Sanger Reed, Education and Outreach Coordinator with Parkinson's Resources of Oregon
"The skills you teach are so useful in so many ways. In fact, I credit the
continued success of my relationship with my partner (even through the hard
times we have been enduring) to words of wisdom from your mouth at the
last facilitation workshop of yours that we attended. The idea of
working together against a problem or obstacle rather than against one
another has saved our marriage on more than one occasion!"
Gail Karuna, Eugene, Oregon
"Tree provided simple guidelines for making explicit some of the common 'hidden problems' in group facilitation and provided us with lots of practice at exposing, preventing, and resolving them. We all came away inspired and ready to help support one another to help our groups operate most effectively. The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive, and we are looking forward to having Tree here again."
Raines Cohen, Vice President, Swan's Market Cohousing (Oakland, CA)
"I really thought that this workshop was greatit really packed A LOT into the amount of time we had. Thanks!"
Doug, Growers Market (Eugene, OR)
"Since we're a consensus based community, I can't speak for everyone (Tree taught us that!), but since she came and spent an afternoon with us at Lost Valley Educational Center (an intentional community of 25 adults and 8 kids), our (voluminous) meetings haven't gotten any shorter but we sure accomplish a heck of a lot more! Her workshop helped us to streamline our own process to promote clarity and focus. Her presentation was fun and involving, her facility with her material superb, and her on-the-spot adaptation to our specific needs allowed us to be totally engaged in the work."
Russ Reina, Conference Coordinator, Lost Valley Educational Center (Dexter, OR)
"It was clear you have experienced many of the things we asked about and had some accurate observations about our group. I'm amazed you got me to role play!"
Lorna, Shannon Farm (Afton, VA)
"Very practical, useful and informative. I loved the way you explained your own process as a facilitator. All three role plays were fabulous. Very clear explanations for everything. Handouts were excellent. Lots of good ideas and information that could apply to many different facilitation and teaching situations. Fantastic workshopI learned a ton."
Cassandra, Twin Oaks Community (Louisa, VA)
"Tree's facilitation is a breath of fresh air for groups that need help making good decisions in a reasonable amount of time. Her style is relaxed and calm while keeping meetings going at a good pace. She skillfully breaks up complex topics into manageable threads so that groups can communicate more effectively."
Jeffrey Harris, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (Rutledge, MO)
"I am thoroughly impressed with both her techniques and her teaching skills. She has a real knack for keeping the group on topic, for reading the vibes of the participants, and for keeping track of the loose ends and knowing where in the agenda to weave them back in."
Geoph Kozeny, The Peripatetic Communitarian
"I have observed Tree Bressen in several facilitation venues over the last number of years. I have found her skills exceptional, particularly her ability to ensure that all voices in whatever process is being worked with are genuinely included. To my observation, this ability to make sure that 'nothing slips through the cracks' pays great dividends in the future."
Bill Becker, CEO, Sunrise Credit Union
"Tree Bressen's ability to process conflict by making sure each person feels fully heard has deeply impressed me on several occasions. It made a critical difference on delicate issues of vital importance to those involved (including me). Although Tree is an experienced facilitator and mediator of exceptional discipline and skill, she never stops learningand teaching. If hundreds of communities and social change groups could experience the productive pleasure of her mastery, the world would have a better chance."
Tom Atlee, Founder, Co-Intelligence Institute
"Tree visited with us in the fall of 2001, giving us heaping helpings of appropriate information to put in our community soup for working out our differences. We learned some vital facilitation skills that have measurably helped our meeting process go more smoothly, and members report feeling satisfied at least, and absolutely amazed at the results of integrating some of the skills Tree demonstrated for us. She was highly amenable to working within, and understanding our process for meetings. We are definitely in a better place as a community because of her input."
Monika Hausmann, Membership Committee Co-Coordinator, East Blair Housing Cooperative (Eugene, OR)
"I was skeptical at first about all this but you helped me see not only that it can work but it works well."
Participant, STARC Alliance
"Tree came to our national conference in '00 as our Consensus and Facilitation trainer and she really made the conference. As a network of student activists we struggle with our process often. Tree took the time to not only build our basic skill level, but explore our unique situation. Her presence and listening skills built immediate trust with our group and allowed us to learn more fully. I highly recommend Tree, her trainings improved the culture and decision-making processes in our network."
Laura Close, National Field Organizer, STARC Alliance
"Whether untangling facts or feelings, Tree stays patiently persistent, helping individuals speak their truths clearly, in service to the group. Tree is very accepting and can be very gentle. Yet, this doesn't get in the way of tracking complicated details, or laughing heartily when called for. I am often struck by Tree's diverse approaches, such that I feel comfortable sharing embarrassing, funny stories, or complicated dilemmas. Her tool kit is enriched by experiences in many effective national nonprofits."
Alex McGee, Federation of Egalitarian Communities
"It was wonderful to host you here on Sunday. I really appreciate your flexibility, wisdom, and experience. After hearing you model really exceptional communication skills, I've felt much more capable of communicating clearly in the last few days."
Lee Cowan, Tryon Life Community Farm
"Of all the facilitators and consultants we've had here, you are the one I dislike the least."
Harry Dudley, Cascadia Commons Cohousing
"Great balance of talk/explanation and experiential exercises. You have a fantastic command of the information and are exceptionally facile at facilitation. Your highly organized approach made it possible to assimilate a lot of information in a short amount of time. You manage to keep us all in line and on time while maintaining a seemingly casual, relaxed mood and atmosphere."
Deborah Ham, Columbia Ecovillage
"Hire her for group process consultations. She is excellent. I recommend her highly."
Rob Sandelin, Group process consultant to dozens of cohousing and other organizations
"You gave me hope.
Erik Grove, Student Cooperative Association (Eugene, OR)