Peg Holman pholman at email.msn.com
Sat Oct 30 09:05:47 PDT 1999


Welcome!  Thanks for your wonderful questions.  I find Open Space doesn't
lend itself to being sold.  When I have approached someone with "the answer"
it generally backfires.  What I find does work is to listen to how the
person sees their situation, what their needs are, what their hopes are.
By getting clear on how they see the situation and what they want to
acheive, I can be of service to them.  And by hearing them, I find people
are better equipped to listen.  So, all that said, if after talking with
them, OS seems appropriate, I can then talk about a way to support them.  I
will probably start with exploring the characteristics of an approach that
might work for them -- e.g., what would they think about an approach to
their issue that allows parents, teachers, adminstrators, etc. to come
together?  An approach that supports people in working through conflicts?
If that's of interest, then it may be time to get more specific on how an OS
would work in their setting.

The key is to build the conversation from what has heart and meaning for
them.  There is great power in feeling heard and it is a gift that you can
give them to start both building a relationship and understanding what is
important to them.  It will also help you to know if there is enough
connection between you to pursue something.  And when you do talk about OS,
it is in the context and the language of the other person.

Hope this helps,
Peg Holman

-----Original Message-----
From: Kathleen A Pichola <kapich at JUNO.COM>
Date: Monday, October 25, 1999 10:20 AM
Subject: Hello

>Dear Open Space folks
>Hi.  I am Kathleen Pichola, from Cleveland, Ohio and new to the world of
>consulting. I have been a private practice psychotherapist for the past
>12 years.  I ended this practice in May of 98 and am moving toward new
>work that involves larger groups of people and transformation that
>affects many. I have been aware of openspace for several years and have
>attended several trainings with Harrison and Birgitt.  However, I have
>not done any consulting to date.  I feel ready to open this new work for
>myself by going out into the world and opening spaces, but have many
> My passion lives with the public school systems.  I was an educator or
>10 years before I trained as a psychologist.  I would love to help
>children everywhere by improving the ways in which schools meet
>children's needs.
> I had a preliminary meeting with a central staff administrator in charge
>of community/school relations.  She seemed interested in Open Space but
>declared that she has no budget.  She sent me to an exec director of a
>well funded clearinghouse organization that has as it's mission to
>improve the schools countywide.  They have just spent time and money on a
>training program for parents called naming and renaming.  They are quite
>excited about it.  The funding for this program ends in Dec.  I am to
>call this exec when she returns to town, which is today.
>My observations
>1.  It seems to me that the whole educational system is very broken but
>continues to limp along because it is funded by taxes.
>2.  It seems to me that if education is to really change, the deep
>structure, (as Birgitt names it in her training program,) needs to be
>addressed, not just the behaviors and actions.
>3. It seems to me that schools continue to add programs that address
>behaviors but are like bandaids on a problem that requires major surgery.
> The current bandaids are volunteerism and parent involvement.
>4.  It seems to me, when we are talking about education, we are talking
>about the national, state and local systems, as well as the community of
>parents and businesses.  I don't know anyone who is not affected by the
>educational system come to think of it.
>5.  It seems to me for real change to occur, this whole system needs to
>be in the room as in Open space.
>6.  It seems to me, there are many smaller systems within the larger
>system that can use and benefit from open space.  Individual schools,
>individual programs, local school systems etc.
>7.  It seems to me that open space would be a perfect tool to create the
>kind of changes that are desparately needed  and long overdue in the
>8.  It seems to me that nationally, we are beginning to focus on
>education as a priority, and that the time may be right for this kind of
>My Questions:
>1.  How does one access educational decisionmakers to make them aware of
>open space and the potential it has to offer?
>         I have considered doing informational presentations to businesses,
>rotaries, kiwanas (I like giving speeches) In order to inform a large
>group of community stakeholders.
>         I have considered doing presentations for gatherings of
>superintendents, principals, administraors.  Surely there must be such a
>          A friend of mine suggested that I meet with a local
superintendent who
>has a reputation for being creative and progressive.  She suggested that
>if I sold the idea to him and had success, he would make sure everyone
>knew about it.
>2.  I mentioned the exec director earlier.  I need to call her this week,
>as she is just returning from out of town. I am not sure what to say to
>her in an initial meeting.  I know open space would be an excellent match
>for her and the mission of the organization.  I'm not sure how to let her
>know that, or if it is even possible to sell open space by "cold calling
>" like this.
>I think that is enough for now.  I would appreciate any feedback and
>wisdom that people can give.
>I also would like  to know if there is anyone in the Cleveland area who
>is doing open space?
>Thanks to all,
>Kathleen Pichola
>Stories With Heart        &            Kapstone Consulting, Inc.
>Kathleen A. Pichola, Ph.D
>P.O. Box 19128                                E-mail Kapich at Juno.com
>Cleveland, Ohio 44119-0128               Phone  216-531-6008
>Stories open our hearts and feed our souls. Stories heal us.

>From  Sun Oct 31 09:49:37 1999
Message-Id: <SUN.31.OCT.1999.094937.0000.>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 09:49:37 +0000
Reply-To: ml at martinleith.com
From: Martin Leith <ml at martinleith.com>
Organization: Martin Leith
Subject: Message for Chris Corrigan
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This message is for Chris Corrigan, whose email address I don't have.

Hi Chris. I have put your Holding the Space poem on my website:


I hope this is OK. I am happy to include a link to your email address or
website if you have one.

If you have any objections please let me know and I'll remove it.

Great poem - thank you.

Warm wishes,

Martin Leith
Brighton, UK

ml at martinleith.com

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