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The Art of HostingWhat I hope to learn
The other half of the battle of helping people bring their dreams to life is being able to help teams and communities work together well. I sum up the loose collection of facilitation practices, coaching tools, etc. that are used for that as the art of hosting.
I like the term hosting because it implies that facilitating is not purely a mechanistic process. It helps me to keep in mind that I’m working with people- not robots- who can be tired, upset, happy, comfortable, and a million other things. There is also a great community around the world that identifies with that terminology, who I hope to be learning from throughout this process.How I hope to practice these skills
- Attend an Art of Hosting training and get more involved in that community
- Take on a project for, work with, or even teach at a team entrepreneurship school like Team Akademie, KaosPilots, Knowmads, etc.
- Create or attend a course on Non-Violent Communication and/or Conflict Resolution (Eric Sauder has a friend at the Mennonite Church that might be able to help organize this for a group of us)
- Have some fun with Improv (my friend Caroline Howe wants to help plan a workshop for a group of us).
- Practice using the methods or tools- or even better, shadow, help facilitate, or become a trained facilitator- of as many of the following methods/orgs as possible:
- Transformative Action Institute
- Work on Purpose
- Life Entrepreneurs
- Business Model Generation
- Animas Institute
- Theory U
- Anything else that comes up in the process of doing the above.
I do plan to spend some time and money out of pocket on this section of my plan- for example to buy a few books or to attend trainings- but I also plan to make some income from taking work as a facilitator, host, or teacher in the process.Recognition of Mastery
Because this section is about practice and continuous improvement, rather than hitting a hard milestone, I will measure my progress by maintaining an ongoing reflective and evaluative process that will include:
- Blogging about events and programs I design and/or facilitate/teach, including what I learned or could have done differently.
- Setting up a feedback form and asking for feedback from other facilitators and participants on my work.
- As much as possible, endeavor to have my work recorded and critiqued with mentors.
To vouch for my progress, I’ll be asking for LinkedIn recommendations or informal reflective letters from groups I have worked with, peers, and other professional facilitators.
Ultimately, my goal is to earn a Letter of Endorsement from a highly experienced and respected facilitator- like Scott Sherman, Otto Scharmer, Allen Gunn (“Gunner”), etc.- who has seen my work and would vouch for it to others.