Holding the space

Andrea Barrett abarrett at wantree.com.au
Mon Jul 12 07:24:01 PDT 1999

Sure - it appeared to me in this particular instance that there were 2 or three persons in the group who spoke in the evening and morning news with the authority of leadership. The interesting part for me was to notice whether the authority was that of the group's history/hierarchy/cultural norms eg the chaplin/priest or whether it was the authority of leadership as one often sees emerging in open space. It was important to notice the difference when these persons made suggestions of changes to the program content/direction/pace  - the  indiscernible response of the group at times could have been compliance or it might have been assent etc.

It was challenging for me because my cultural upbringing included undiscriminating respect of those in such roles (parallel process). 

But there was also the question of spirit, holy spirit guiding the process of the priest - my holding of the space led me to reflect back to the group apparent decisions by the chaplin/priest for further exploration, directly challenging the cultural norms of the group. I figured that was in fact my role as facilitator.....

Basically the experience was a real learning for me in protecting the space, reflecting the decisions back to the group for further exploration/feedback.

Sounds simple now, not so at the time!

-----Original Message-----
From:   ralphsc [SMTP:ralphsc at EARTHLINK.NET]
Sent:   Monday, July 12, 1999 9:22 PM
Subject:        Re: Holding the space


Can you say more about your experience with the religious community, in
particular about being "challenged to notice" some people who tended to
speak for the whole group.  I don't understand.

Ralph Copleman

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