[OSList] Teach Them to Fish / A Note to My Friends

Lisa Heft lisaheft at openingspace.net
Sat Feb 25 11:03:37 PST 2012

I am glad that my also announcing the upcoming event I am hosting does  
not break these nutrient-rich streams.
You know how it is when you are hosting an event and want your  
fabulous colleagues to join you - and there are also many pre-work  
I am so happy that I can now step back into this marvelous  
conversation - and thank you Artur for inspiring it.

Artur and Bernd I love what you say and Artur your recent post makes  
me think once again how strongly I feel that the facilitator should  
not be the 'catalyst' or 'interventionist' but more the 'nutritionist'.
This includes both our roles before the event, during and afterwards -  
in a way that supports others' capacity - but there is a nuance here -  
a continuum between overly doing things that they can do (let us say  
in the pre-work or during the OSonOS) and adding things we think they  
'need' during the OS (like our help, our helping them think, our  
intervention) ... and ... not being present at all.

So as a facilitator (and I also teach but I see myself more as a  
learning facilitator in those moments) - I feel I definitely do have  
responsibility to support and act - it is the *way* I do so that  
either erases someone else's ability and capacity or gives focus to it.

Like being as I call it a 'conscious non-interventionist' during the  
Open Space.
Or offering reasons or lessons learned about invitation strategy to  
the client in the pre-work phase but not doing it for them or making  
those decisions for them.
Like helping the client design how they will collect documentation in  
a way that will help them and their participants reflect and review  
post-OSonOS event.

To me it is all more learner-centered / participant-centered / client- 
centered than facilitator-driven.

Bernardo - you make me fondly miss Mozambique, where I facilitated  
over several years using Open Space and other participant-driven  
dialogue processes and then - as we all do in Open Space particularly  
- got out of the way to be amazed...


On Feb 25, 2012, at 10:16 AM, Artur Silva wrote:

> Yes, Bernardo, you are right. Sometimes one must give the fish,  
> teach to fish and also help learning how to learn.
> You are also right that this "to help to learnr" is indeed "to  
> facilitate". I avoided the term because quite often - as HO  
> mentioned - many people think (and do) "facilitate too much",  
> disempowering the other and making more difficult for him to learn  
> by himself.
> And your story in Mozambique (Beira) is marvelous.
> Abraço
> Artur

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