Unconference Principles: Holding Space

This is the root practice for bringing people together in a group. As the convener(s) of a meeting you are the holders of space. It is a subtle practice that takes time to even realize that it is going on. During our time together in the Face 2 Face workshop I will be actively working on holding space with you in it.
It is almost impossible to describe but I will do my best so you can think about it happening.
Holding space begins the moment that you conceive of a gathering – by just thinking about it you have begun the process of creating the container By saying “when will it be? where will it be? what city? what time of year? what are space needs? what kind of food will people eat? What is the goal? What processes will meet the outcome goals? who should come? who are a key stakeholders? Logistics play a major role in your success. If it is not right, people who get uncomfortable, and that will make holding space harder and reduce outcome.
When you answer these questions write the answers out and perhaps map them visually. The whole should give you a clearer clearer picture of the space you are creating and with that the space you hold.
There is an intentional quality – You could perhaps evoke it by standing with your feet more then shoulder width apart knees bent and putting your arms out bent and holding the shape of a bowl. Be still and feel the energy you are holding in the space. Then think about that feeling and expand it to your gathering.
There seems to be present in all truly successful gatherings the movement of life energy or spirit. Even if you purpose is a technical one, this essence, bound up with your intention and realized in the act of holding space is a key to success.

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