How do you get out of the way?

Pannwitz, Michael M mmpanne at
Tue Dec 14 16:39:16 PST 2004

Dear Chris,
shortly after beginning my introduction I announce that later, after
having spoken a bit about the process,  I will offer an invitation to
post their issues
-(in English I would not use the word "topic", in German I use the
word "Anliegen" which I feel is pretty close to "issue" and is
different from the often used German word "Thema" which again is
fairly close to topic....neither "Thema" nor "topic"  seem to
sufficiently contain the message of "passion" and "responsibility")-
then, after having concluded with the process stuff, I pause, recall
my announcement from earlier in the introduction and say something
"In case you do have a burning  issue that you want to deal with
under the Theme of your gathering, enter the circle, write it down in
a few words, stand up, say your name, state your issue and place it
on the bulletin board"
Depending on the situtation or the way I feel I might add:
"No need to rush in, relax, take a breath"
"You can all come forward at the same time"
I just point to the center where the paper and markers are placed
without saying anything else
"In case nothing comes to your mind, dont worry, it will appear in
due time"
what I always do
I leave the inner circle completely which I sort of imagine is a
signal in the direction of "nothing is going to happen except
whatever you yourself do, or what the forces of selforganisation will
move" (without saying any of that).

Seems that your way of doing it aint much different...and then, it in
fact might be "awkward" or "different" or "weird" to "get out of the
way"...the moment, in which control is relinquished (even we though
we never had it?)...its a very special or unique or unusual kind of
behavior, so it might be surprising not to feel in some way

As I remember, I used to feel awkward or apprehensive at that point
but now I am quite comfortable.
However, groups selforganise this part of collecting their issues in
the most unpredictable ways...sometimes there is an enormous rush (I
remember ho and me practically fleeing the onrush with the 2000 in
Würzburg), sometimes there is a pause of 2 or even 3 minutes before
the first issue is posted....

What I find much more challenging is the very first thing when
entering the circle where I feel my task is to make a contribution in
the direction: people in the room focus on each other and not on me,
get in touch with the ressources and treasures they collectively
have, etc. At that point I am very visible and very present....later,
stepping out of the circle is a very clear signal, I feel, of moving
into the state of "fully present and invisible".

Greetings from Berlin, sleepless again

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 11:15:45 -0800, Chris Corrigan wrote:

>Hey friends:
>You know that moment when you have finished introducing the process
>and you step out of the way to invite people to begin posting your
>What do you all say to do that?  After years of doing this, I still
>find that the hardest thing to do well.  My usual practice is to bring
>back the group's attention to the theme of the event and invite them
>to reflect deeply on what is calling to them right now, what topic
>needs to be born or convened and then I point to the centre of the
>circle and say "the space is all yours."  Then I kind of back out of
>the way.
>Sometimes I say "the floor is open" or something like that.  But more
>often than not, it still comes off as feeling a little awkward.
>So I'm curious for inspiration from you fine folks.  How do you get
>out of the way?
>Consultation - Facilitation
>Open Space Technology
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Michael M Pannwitz, boscop eG i.G.
Draisweg 1, 12209 Berlin
++49 - 30-772 8000

Seit dem 17. August 2004 ist die Open Space World Map online. Stand: 123 Teilnehmende in 29 Ländern, davon 43 aus Deutschland. Werft mal einen Blick in

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