Holding the space

Sheila T. Isakson isakson at juno.com
Mon Jul 12 11:45:49 PDT 1999

Dear Andrea,
      I do hope that you have the opportunity to meet and visit with
Birgitt Bolton, who at this very moment is visiting Austrailia and
sharing her wisdom about Open Space Technology.  She is beginning in
Melbourne with Fr. Brian Bainbridge.  I mention this because she is so
very talented in dealing with "wise men" who also can be "space
invaders."  What I have observed of her work is to invite perceived space
invaders to: 1) share their passion by posting a topic that addresses
what they care about and are willing to take responsibility for and 2)
listen so that they can discover who else cares about the same things
that they do.  Therein lies the challenge....take responsibility for what
they care about.  A third option involves convening a conversation during
a meal or after the regular sessions, which is fine.  The important thing
for me is to invite you, Andrea, to consider how very important your role
is in protecting the space for all.  It is important to let the group
deal with space invaders by using the law of two feet.  Hope this helps!


On Mon, 12 Jul 1999 15:26:08 +0800 Andrea Barrett
<abarrett at WANTREE.COM.AU> writes:
>Hello friends
>I have recently an open space conference with a religious community
>and have been intrigued by many wonderful openings in the group, the
>process and myself. Interestingly I have been challenged to notice the
>"space invaders" within the context of a deeply spiritual group. For
>example, the "wise men" in the group who are within that particular
>culture very much the seers and wise ones have a tendency to speak for
>the whole without actually consulting the whole group. It is a
>challenge to hold the space with grace in the light of that group's
>cultural "assumptions".
>I have again been impressed with the importance of doing the
>preparatory work with a group in really understanding the theme of the
>forum. It seems to me that the theme of an open space becomes a potent
>guiding beacon during the process. It also takes on a life of its own.
>So much so that the group "owns" and enacts the theme  - I noticed at
>this recent forum that a tension developed between those taking the
>theme on in a very full way and those less ready to embrace it fully.
>I considered this tension more of the "creative" sort but did wonder
>about space invasion of those less ready to boldly move forward.
>I would appreciate if anyone has any comments.
>Andrea Barrett
>Process and Organisational Consultant
>Systemic Intervention Consultancy (sic!)
>PO Box 3, North Fremantle, West Australia 6159
>Tel: (08) 93356989 mobile 015 606 678 fax (08) 9335 6989

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