My Networks Care for Me, TooMy Networks Care for Me, Too

blank wall

The agenda for an Open Space Meeting. Also, a description of what I knew about Open Space when I decided I wanted to use the technique in a workshop.

 

A couple weeks ago, I was prepping for a workshop. I knew I wanted to include a modified Open Space session at the end of the day. The catch was that I’d never facilitated or even participated in an Open Space session, and I was nervous about faking it in a room with 30 people who were looking to me to make the day worthwhile.

I happen to be part of a very loose network (a google group, really), of network support consultants, so I reached out to them asking for guidance.

I’m planning to use a short, possibly modified version of Open Space Technologies to close out a full-day workshop with a goal of giving people space to engage in topics that they are passionate about and/or which they want to learn more about after the rest of the day.

I’m wondering whether someone is willing to spend 15-30 minutes on skype or google hangouts with me to talk me through my framing and logistics.

Within a day, I had EIGHT people offer to help me. I worked with two of them. The online Open Space descriptions I found were mostly for much larger contexts than I had — multiple days of sessions. Thanks to their advice I felt comfortable I was scaling my instructions to my context, and framing my questions in a way that would lead to valuable conversations. Because my network supported me, by the time I was in a room with my participants, I was ready.

This week, I’m reviewing the evaluations from that session. 60% of the attendees listed the Open Space session as one of their favorite parts of the day. It’s time to thank my network for taking care of me, too.

2 Comments

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Janne, that’s great to hear that so many people were generous with their support and that your session went so well. For me, the bigger lesson from this story is that you asked for help. So many of us eschew that step to our own detriment and the detriment of our work. Thanks for modeling!

  • Christine Capra
    Monday, July 13, 2015 - 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I concur with Eugene, lovely modeling of asking for help.

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