Lost at an Open Space event
Cindy Hoong comments that at Open Space events, we wander around feeling lost and pretending we aren’t so that we fit in with the geeks.
Mmm . . . . yes, I did remember that feeling as I cast around looking for landmarks to orient myself. We do like a measure of order in our lives and plenty of control for ourselves.
The first stage of group formation, anyway, reminds leaders that we are totally dependent on them to answer the question in our minds, “Do I belong here?”
Landmarks help people move from dependence to independence. Social landmarks help us feel included.
What can we do when we feel lost at an Open Space event?
One of the most important features of an open space event is that everyone takes part – even if it is only to demonstrate how to make a cup of coffee.
If the event is half-half – then I would fall back on the open source principles. Think of something you like to do and volunteer to do it. Offer to staff the reception area. Offer to make the coffee. Set yourself up as official photographer or blogger. Do something inanane ~ match people in green sweaters to people in green sweaters.
But do something. Preferably something you like to do. Preferably something you are good at. Preferably something that achieves a goal important to you.
Then your mindset changes. You want to know where the signing up board is. You want to grab a room. You want to get to know the other participants so you can tailor your presentation.
Get into the flow. Join the river. Become a player.
Hope that helps!