Written by Cyriel Kortleven
I am just back from a four-day training – the Art of Hosting – in Berlin. It was absolutely a great experience to work together with more than 45 people around meaningful conversations. We experienced methods like WorldCafe, Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, circle work, … and applied them on very powerful questions.
I’m starting to call myself an experienced facilitator but being an host of such an ‘event’ goes a step further. Because we were in Berlin and it’s 20 years after the ‘Berlin wall’ came down, we worked around the topic to bring our inner walls down that keep us seperated. I liked the part about the chaordic field because it relates a lot to the creation and innovation work that I do. The chaordic field is the area that emerges from being between chaos and order. That’s where the deep learning happens. It’s also the field of not knowing (U-theory). When a system/society puts too much attention on order, you get a system of control. And that’s a very rigid system but a big part of our current society is build on control. The other side is too much chaos and then you get into the destructive chaos. New awareness and solutions emerge from the chaordic field. This field is also sometimes related to the groan zone – you feel resistance, you don’t know what you’re doing, you want to step out of the process but this is the moment where you need to be self-confident and have trust in the process.
I recognize this zone a lot in creative sessions. This is the moment where the ‘logical’ ideas have been harvested and people get stuck in the ideakillers (yes, but; too crazy; not fo our clients; …). The best ideas are found if you can ‘survive’ this groan zone. I have been in the groan zone a few times during the intense training – struggling with my mind and emotions; not knowing what I should do but every time I got through it and discovered a very nice insight. The next picture (the result of an open space session outside) is maybe the answer on the question – what will you discover if you bring your inner walls down?
I can absolutely recommend this experience to other people who are interested in exploring really deep conversations and want to learn all kind of methods and a philosophy to host big groups with powerful questions. Thanks to all the great participants and the art of hosting team who helped me to break down some of my inner walls and discover the beauty of some other walls that represent my values and strengths. And thanks to the Hub Berlin for being such a nice host for this event. Very interesting concept for all self-employed people out there who want to become part of a bigger community.