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Space invaders

There are times when Open Space is invaded by people with their own agenda who have not yet grasped the notion of building together. These are the Space Invaders and they come in various shapes, sizes and intensities. There are two kinds of Space Invaders: unintentional and intentional. It is important to be able to tell the difference between the two. Space invaders (of both kinds) can usually be spotted during the opening session or morning news sessions.

Always act to protect the integrity of Open Space.

Unintentional invader

The unintentional invader is the person who seems to have the right answer and recipe for every situation and is always full of suggestions about what others should do (differently). It may be a recent “open space convert” that has no idea how his or her actions are affecting others. In such cases, depending on the energy in the group, a facilitator can choose to not intervene at all and let the group handle it (preferred), or acknowledge the suggestions and channel the energy back to the principles in order to let the group handle it.

“Yes, that is a good idea. Why don't you take responsibility for the suggestion and put something on the News wall so that people can sign it if they so choose. Thank you.”

By putting it on the News wall people can vote with their feet, and in the present the group can move on.

Intentional invader

The intentional invader is a different type of energy to deal with. This person comes with a strong agenda or ulterior motive for being there. It may be a control freak or dominator or even a “spiritual fascist”.

Removing someone from Open Space is never to be done lightly, Having facilitators become visible like that can have an awful effect on participants and hence on outcomes. Only apply when things are way out of hand and your intuition tells you that this individual is intentionally attempting to subvert the process for others.

If this person begins to be disruptive (again) then immediately call for a ten minute bathroom break. Use the break time for you and your co-facilitator(s) to “bracket” the person and move them out of the circle. Clear verbal communication will often be enough to have the person leave the facilities, but in rare and extreme cases the person may need to be “physically escorted” off the premises.

en/facilitation/open-space/space-invaders.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/03 05:05 by Digital Dot