On March 5, 2019, we held our first Holding Space Conversations. The gathering was focused on how to hold the space as a facilitator. Together with the participants we shared our experiences and explored together how we can tell that a space is held well. 

Here is the list of factors that plays a role for us. Feel free to add to this list. It is by no means extensive, nor is it overly structured. 

It is intended as an inspiration for your own thinking process. If you have something to add, please share in the comments. We’re looking forward to building a comprehensive list that includes many aspects and viewpoints so people can build their own check lists.

Personal aspects / subjective experience

  • I feel comfortable.
  • I leave in a good mood.
  • I am curious about the other people’s contribution.
  • I have time to process what’s going on.
  • Time is running fast. /
    I have the impression that time flies.
  • I can open myself and feel free to speak.
  • I enjoy being there.
  • I feel seen and heard.

 

Interpersonal aspects

  • The attention is shared and moves together. – People are
    getting the attention when they speak.
  • Conflict is allowed and held.
  • Difference of opinion is allowed.
  • The environment is friendly.
  • Everyone has a chance to speak.
  • The atmosphere is calm.
  • The atmosphere is light.

 

Needs & practicalities

  • I eat and drink.
  • The gathering is well organised. /
    There is a clear structure for the session.
  • If necessary, there are breaks.
  • I have visual prompts.
  • The instructions are clear.
  • The energy level is checked (and little energiser moments added if need be.)
  • Respectful communication

 

Approach

  • It is a gathering of co-creation.
  • There are clearly communicated rules of gathering (ideally beforehand).
  • The participants get more time than the facilitator
    (speaking).
  • It is based on experiential learning.