“When are you going to do it? The time is now. We’ll help …”, several Slovenian friends approached me within a short period of time, requesting a training on participatory leadership. I took it as a sign, and contacted ten people from Slovenia who had been in various ways exposed to the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter approach, asking them to help make a potential training happen. To my surprise, all of them said yes … and I started to wonder how on earth are we going to work closely as such a large team???
Along the way, six colleague from abroad joined, and so we ended up with an international 16-person hosting and calling team for a first three-day residential Art of Participatory Leadership training held in Sloveni (well, the first one after a lapse of 10 years – Castle Borl was in early 2000’s THE birthplace of the global Art of Hosting community as we know it now …).
Within minutes after the training, two seasoned Slovenian leaders came to me (one after the other) asking: “But how did you manage it – that the team worked so smoothly during the entire event??? What project management tools did you use?”
Hmmm … I needed to look back to remember. We simply sat together, and sensed as a group what we wanted to get done. Then we created a huge mindmap of postits with tasks – and asked who wants to take which piece. If nobody wanted a piece, then it wasn’t really crucial. That was it. No checklists, no PM tools, and very very few reminders.
Due to the largeness of the team, many simultaneous activities during the training (the coaching of the participants, the daily harvesting, space and beauty care, conversations with hotel staff, evening fires, morning practices …) could dance in harmony, without anyone carrying too much on their shoulders. In fact, the Slovenian team in the end said: “How do you ever manage to run such a rich training with a team smaller than us …?”.
Working closely together within such a large team was a valuable experience of “walking the talk” of participatory leadership itself. And, most importantly, from a meeting to meeting (in person or over skype), love and connectedness among us grew. I strongly believe that the quality of collaboration within the team spread into the entire circle of 65 participants, creating a space of connection, openness, possibility and joy.
More on how the participants felt can be learned from the website that they co-created during the training. Welcome!