From the personal to the global, practices of participatory leadership and capacities for hosting powerful conversations are helping to co-create resilience, opportunity and renewal in organizations of all sizes, communities and families.
Rooted in the work of courageously hosting conversations that matter, the Art of Hosting is a field of practice that helps groups of people tap into and unleash the creativity, collaboration and wise action that is needed to deal with high levels of change and unprecedented circumstance.
I hope you will consider joining me for a 3.5 day dive into experiential and collaborative learning in the Art of Hosting, on beautiful Bowen Island (BC, Canada) from November 11th to 14th 2013, with a team of seasoned, curious and committed hosts (Chris Corrigan, Teresa Posakony, Caitlin Frost, Tenneson Woolf and me). More information on this beautiful invitation is here.
A friend who is considering attending asked for my sense of “what you think will take place, who may attend, and what I can expect to walk away with?” Here is my response to her…
I’ve been to the Bowen Island Art of Hosting twice, and will be there again this year. I was really unsure my first year and am SO glad I went. I found my tribe, my practice, and an ongoing source of learning and inspiration.
In terms of what will take place:
- A well hosted experience with spaciousness to adapt to what’s cooking with the group.
- A diverse group of people. Many of the people I’ve met I’m still in regular touch with… like a delicious box of chocolates of people from all kinds of work/life/paths.
- The first evening is often some kind of connecting conversation to discover who’s here, what’s going on with us, where there is energy (connection before content).
- Over the course of the experience we might be in World Cafe, Open Space, circle or other processes – it’s a great way to experience different processes as a participant instead of it being just talked about.
- Some lovely teaching pieces on different worldviews/theory/design tools/frameworks – many gems no matter what the exact topic.
- The Work of Byron Katie. An insanely simple and powerful process for working with your own thinking and limiting beliefs (still part of my regular practice today).
- I could go on but will pause there!
How to describe what I left with? On one part of the continuum I left with my soul filled up with something I didn’t even know I was looking for. Experiencing deep, meaningful listening and story space. Hearing practice stories from the hosting team that ignited how I wanted to do my work (which totally changed how I work and I’ve never looked back). Then into the very practical and tangible: ways of framing questions, ways of planning with my clients, experiencing different processes or familiar ones in a new way.
This is not a ‘sage on the stage’ event; it’s hosted in circle with ‘a leader in every chair’; the hosting team guiding the days, providing some offerings, and inviting lots of participation (e.g. they often have spaces for people to sign-up in a number of places over the time to get hands-on practice with some of the hosting). There are sharp and crackly moments (ah-ha!!) and soft and thoughtful moments (ahhhh….). Then there is Rivendell itself, where it’s held, which is a most magical place. Like a big hug when you first see it.
Everyone has their own experience, and I hope by sharing mine your curiosity has been sparked and you’ll think about joining us for this unique learning event. Registration information and more can be found here.