One Day OS Training

Ralph Copleman earthdreams at
Tue May 8 07:51:18 PDT 2001


I have never done a one-day training, but I have done a two-day event, with
the middle half (noon on day one until noon on day two) done in open space.
That went very well, I thought, especially after one "student" said to me,
in effect, "This is all well and good, but what IS open space??"  My answer
was, "It's nothing.  Just time and space you use how you want to, in keeping
with the theme you've agreed to come and be part of."

When people ask me what they need to try it, my standard reply is: a)
experience an open space meeting as a participant, and b) read Harrison's
book.  In one emergency, I coached a facilitator through it (on the phone!)
when she had already made all the arrangements, invited the people, promised
to do an os meeting, etc, and had never seen it done.  There was nothing to
do but help her.  She reported it went swimmingly.

Another time I had to get a substitute for myself at very nearly the last
moment and no experienced folks were available.  I "trained" one of my
consulting partners in about 30 minutes, and she did splendidly, but I have
to say she is a strong and unusual woman with very rare presence, a natural
for open space.

Harrison, you're so right about the lesson of letting go.  My first few
times I sweated over getting the words and rituals right.  I had already
watched you many times, so I had an excellent model to follow on space
"holding" and coffee cup collecting.  I knew how to "look" the part even if
I didn't have it on the inside.  I spent the time of open space the first
few gigs watching myself looking like I knew what I was doing!

Self-managed self-teaching, I suppose.  I don't necessarily recommend it.

For anyone out there attempting a one-day training program, I still think
folks benefit greatly from having been in open space once before
facilitating it.  But perhaps I'm wrong; maybe our collective consciousness
has evolved...

Ralph Copleman

To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of oslist at,

More information about the OSList mailing list