Posts Tagged ‘open minded’

Open Minded?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I attended an Open Space1 day today with a networking group I belong to. The idea behind this approach is it enables large groups to discuss complex issues in a self-organising way and handle complex issues without having passions take over. I thought that it had some interesting lessons for life.

This approach allows people to talk about what is on their mind. In order to do so, they announce the topic they wish to discuss and if others finding this interesting they come and join in. At the point they lose interest, or find they are not making the progress they hoped, or simply something else seems more compelling they are free to go and join another parallel group discussing another aspect of the issue.

In other words, you can only discuss areas that are sufficiently interesting to all parties to secure their attention. So often in life there are these one-sided conversations, and people will mentally dial out long before the other has stopped talking.

The other interesting aspect of this is whilst person A might have proposed the topic to be discussed; the dynamics of the group will often take the conversation into different areas. Traditionally person A would have to try to drag everyone back to the topic under discussion. Using this method, whatever emerges is okay, so no one has to get defensive, and therefore no one needs to get aggressive either.

I wonder if we had more conversations which were a genuine exploration and where the power was equal, how might this affect our lives?

“An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it”


  1. Principles of Open Space:
    1. Whoever comes are the right people
    2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
    3. When it starts is the right time
    4. When it’s over it’s over
      Plus the Law of Two Feet…. “If you find yourself in a situation where you are not contributing or learning, move somewhere where you can.”