Open Space facilitators

Larry Peterson lpasoc at
Thu Feb 25 08:35:58 PST 1999

The only times I have participate when holding the space has been when it
was an OS on OS type event or a facilitator training, which we have held a
number here in Canada. I used to have a "pull" to get involved in some of
the discussions in other events, but resisted. I never have tried to
participate when I am holding the space for a client or sponsor
organization!! I knew that would mess up the power dynamic. NOW, Even at OS
on OS type events or training events, I have stopped getting involved and
focus on holding the space. I have seen where the involvement of the
trainer/OS on OS facilitator breaks the power dynamic of the group and makes
the space less open for some of the participants. (Reported to me after the
event!) I have come to firmly believe that even though I have wonderful
experience, expertise and stories to tell about a topic (from my
perspective) that the OS discussion group will discover what it needs to
take the next steps on the learning journey better if I am not intervening.
I do think that dialogue works to access learning. The person holding the
space is in a power relationship with the rest of the group. In traditional
facilitation that power is used to intervene in group process or content. In
OS it is used to hold space.


Larry Peterson
Associates in Transformation
41 Appleton Ave., Toronto, ON,
Canada, M6E 3A4
Tel:/Fax: 416-653-4829

lpasoc at


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