Can you 'host' a conversation? Participation or facilitation?

QIs it possible to be a partner in a conversation and also ‘host’ it? Or is facilitation very different for participation?

There is a website about hosting discussions which offers some thoughts about how to do this. To quote  The Art of Hosting:

Art of Hosting is a global community of practitioners using integrated participative change processes, methods, maps, and planning tools to engage groups and teams in meaningful conversation, deliberate collaboration, and group-supported action for the common good. Examples of these tools include Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Circle and Appreciative Inquiry.

The Art of Hosting is built on the assumption and experience that we need to find new solutions for the common good, whether in corporations, government, education, non-profits, social movements, communities or families. The time is now.

The Principles
High quality conversations arise when:

•People in a group are present and grounded, working with a common purpose.
•Conversation is hosted in a way that invites participation and self-organization.
•People engage in participatory leadership, not top-down leadership, making the group’s wisdom more available to itself.
•Groups working together over time take action and use feedback to continuously evolve and learn from their action.

Rather than working with a pre-determined set of tools, the “art” is approaching each conversation with a unique design perspective, crafting the best design for the context and the community.

This set of ideas offers some interesting ways forward; but is it for all deliberative situations?

Does hosting set one apart, or would it be helpful if everyone in a dialogue was aware of the potential of ‘hosting’ for better communication?

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Posted on June 10, 2010, in Questions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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