During workshops, space for participants to engage is precious. Because reflection and conversation space is learning space. To make meaningful conversation happen, we – the facilitators and hosts – are preparing the space with care and purpose.
Conversation space is opportunity and invitation for workshop participants to engage: they share thoughts, questions and stories. While participants discuss they progress jointly, discover new ideas, and make sense of what is and could be. They dig deeper and pull knowledge, experiences, and perspectives together.
We can do many things with space as facilitators, participants, and speakers: We can give space and take space, create space, share space…
Thanks to AoH team and participants, Bossey Nov. 2013
As facilitator I find myself, during the preparation process, often in the position of defending ’empty’ space for participants to engage.
Because space is precious.
And therefore needs care.
As facilitators and hosts we create the conditions for meaningful conversation to happen.
- We structure the space purposefully.
- We design the whole workshop as process for conversation and learning. We marry content and process.
- We balance inspiring and provoking inputs with participants’ engagement.
- We open the space and invite people to take part, to make choices.
My favourite and always again inspiring resources for workshop planning:
- Knowledge Sharing for Change – Designing and Facilitating Learning Processes with a Transformative Impact by IngeniousPeopleKnowledge
- Art of Hosting: http://www.artofhosting.org/
- Grossgruppen-Interventionen by Hannes Hinnen und Paul Krummenacher (German only)
- GATHER, the art and science of effective convenings
How do you take care of space?