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.