Drop-off in numbers

ralphsc ralphsc at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 1 11:33:18 PST 1999

To Peg and all,

I have also noticed some folks disappear before the closing circle.  From
feedback, I have collected over the years, I think some or all of the
following circumstances may operate.

1.  Some folks do not like open space for reasons they never make plain,
and they leave.

2.  Some came with the intention of staying only for one day or some
other fraction of the event that did not include the closing.

3.  A few report that they had been in other closings of space before and
found the practice of going around the circle produced repetively
uninteresting comments, so they skip it.

4.  Some have gone to their rooms to sleep, gone to dinner early, or made
any number of other plans for the same period.

I also make my own obervations, as follows.

Several times I have felt the topic or theme did not truly grab some
portion of the group, and they just lost interest in it or ran out of gas
somewhere in the middle.  For example, I worked with one large bunch last
year where the theme had been selected by a committee that apparently
wasn't reflective of the whole body.  They chose to work on an idea of
interest to them but not all others.  I probably should have been tipped
off when 200 folks generated only about 20 posters at the outset, but I
didn't pick up on it at that point; I just figured my opening sucked.
Laster I got reports of how the planners were pushing their own agenda
instead of representing their constituents.  Innocent but ineffective.

I also see that people are double-timing the pace of everything in their
lives these days.  Is this really new?  I'm not convinced, but it is,
nevertheless, a current factor.  Folks are not allowing themselves time
to breathe, let alone settle into open space.

Recently a client told me there would not be time to go all the way
around the circle of 75 in the time alloted, so could I do something
else, please?  So, I put the mike and the talking symbol down in the
middle of the room, explained how the deal worked, and reminded people
the hotel needed us out of there by a given spot on the clock.  Then I
sat down in my seat in the circle and never said another word.  One by
one, people voulnteered their thoughts as they chose for as long as there
was time.  It was over when it was over.  It looked like an evening news,
only far more powerful.

Basically, I guess when it comes to closings, whoever comes are the right


>From  Wed Dec  1 18:13:20 1999
Message-Id: <WED.1.DEC.1999.181320.0500.>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 18:13:20 -0500
Reply-To: abc at interlog.com
From: Audrey Coward <abc at interlog.com>
Organization: Audrey Coward and Associates
Subject: Re: Drop-off in numbers
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Ihad the opposite experience about six months ago. there were about ten
more at the closethan at the beginning. It was a conferenceso maybe that
influenced it. Anyone else have similiar experience.

                        Audrey Coward

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