[OSList] Training

Diane Gibeault diane.gibeault at rogers.com
Wed Feb 1 09:00:15 PST 2012

Hi everyone,

I sense we share a common intention with OST training, that of creating a context
which allows people to experience a different way of being and doing that is
more congruent with life itself and enables them to deepen their learning on
how to replicate this possibility with others.
when I took my training with you 15 years ago, we learned a lot and we had already
read your book, as you had recommended. The workshop lasted 6
days - a gift of time, people and organizations have difficulty today giving
themselves – and I savored every minute of it.  Some of the learning was complementary to the reading but the
real stuff was about UN-learning as you say, learning to let go, being in the
moment, attentive to the power of creating space for freedom, choice, our
passions and responsibilities and that of others. 
was not only the best learning event of my life, it was a turning point, a transformative
moment. Yes it felt like I had come home.  I thank you deeply for it and I will always be grateful to you for
putting out there this possibility for a better me, and a better world. Thanks also to Birgitt Williams and Larry Peterson
who organized several workshops with you in Canada. They both were wonderful OST
facilitator models. 
made up a poster and it’s been following me in all the OST trainings I offer
where I post it or cite it. It is a quote from Harrison saying something to the
effect that "learning the OST process and the practical side of it is
easy. The hardest part is learning about letting
go". It's the central and most important message of my program and it
guides my approach. 
training is not about showing people how to organize others or to “do self-organization”.
It's in fact about learning to let go precisely of that. It’s about
understanding that very important lesson Harrison described in your OS List
message this week: “that it has nothing to do with the brilliance of the
process or our incredible skills as a facilitator”. Reflection with peers in
real time is very effective to reach that sound knowledge and to integrate it
a good head and a good heart can be enough but anchoring oneself more solidly
with more learning is certainly a worthy quest. Then there are many examples
of people who would say they have both a good head and heart but that are
nevertheless, still attached to control, conscious of it or not. We have heard of
many instances where hundreds of people who experienced OS with that kind of
facilitator came out with a pretty blend if not utterly negative perception of
their experience and of Open Space. 
and trying Open Space are great starting points. For a profound and lasting switch
in mental models, for many there is nothing like, listening, exchanging
observations and getting face-to-face feedback. Peer learning is recognized as
the most efficient way by which adults learn. Being a simple full-fledged OS participant
is also an essential step before becoming a well-rounded OS facilitator. Not
everybody has access to a real live OS event – real in the sense that the
spirit of OST is truly respected and reflected. 
Heft, you are a model of life long learning and I agree with - just imagine how much fun
we would have, being at each other’s workshops. The many examples of workshop learnings,
which you described in your message, do reflect the type of questions
participants are coming up with and learnings that are shared. I will say more
on learning “OS facilitation” when responding later to your other training
message on this List. 
Peterson with whom I've co-facilitated OS trainings for at least 10 years, designed
a superb diagram that described OS as part of a continuum and succeeded in not
making it look linear. The clearer the leadership is about the connections of
the OS event to its past, its present, its context and its wishes, the better the event can
propel the organization in a more fruitful future, with good anchors. 

Birgitt, Lisa and others have said it: it’s worth looking at ways to help sponsors to prepare thoroughly so they give themselves a better chance for greater sustained
success. OST workshops are one of the avenues to explore this. 
received the gift of OST, we do have a responsibility to give it forward. There
is a lot of time given in an ongoing way in this community but even time cannot
always be totally free. Many of us have invested by being participants at OST
training workshops or other learning events.  Many also set aside other well-paying practices to make room
for creating OS opportunities for people. The “bread and butter on the table”
reality is still there for everyone. Realities vary from one person to the
other. The common denominator to focus on is the passion for letting more and
more people relearn and embrace this paradigm of openness and possibilities. That
passion does keep on giving.
Maarek, a valued Belgium partner in this OS training adventure, described yesterday
on this List her personal training experience as a participant and other elements of our training program. She also
shared her dream as an OST trainer for a stronger Europe OST community, which brings light to
people’s lives. It is evidently a dream many around the globe have in common.
What a gift to be connected with so many kindred spirits.
every OST training workshop I facilitate, I learn something new. I know because
I hear myself saying it every time. And I’m still ready to be surprised! 
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