The Art of Hosting (AoH) is a highly effective way to harness the collective wisdom and the ability to self-organize of groups, regardless of their size.
Last September we had the chance to take part to the organization of an Art of Hosting, a residential 3-days workshop in a beautiful countryside area in the surroundings of Madrid.
We want to share here some fresh impression about the AoH by the mouth of Pilar, participant attending the workshop, and Mariana, caller of this AoH.
The weekend of 25, 26 and 27 September 2015, I had the opportunity to participate in the second workshop of “The art of participatory leadership” that was held in Spain, the first course of this type entirely developed in Spanish and in Spain.
30 people from 7 different countries and with very diverse professional skills attended the course. I think it is important to mention this element to show how the Art of Hosting can be applied to many different professional fields and sectors.
One of the most important things I received from this workshop is that the perception of the system and of ourselves can change completely when we sit or stand around a circle which centre is made with love by all the members of the group and can continue to grow thanks to the contributions of the participants.
I also learnt that the Art of Hosting is based on maintaining meaningful conversations, something that it is not possible without being fully present and listening without filters.
After taking part to this course, I really imagine the transformation that this approach can bring to a team, organization or community. I invite anyone who has the slightest interest in knowing a bit more about the Art of Hosting, to deepen into the matter and to walk a path that even unknown, it is full of learning and growing throughout the process.
Silence to understand. Deep listening. Intentioned speech. Collective Intelligence. Open-mindedness. Here. Now. This. With you.
I have learned something fundamental in the practice of AoH, the importance of wish, visualize and maintain a purpose in mind, heart and open will. All this happened spontaneously or naturally during the previous months of preparation. Later, during the training I understood how important was this for the call to fruition.
I also want to mention three things that, in my opinion,made this training really powerful.
The first one is the team of organizers: a big team that from our second virtual meeting I start to call “equipazo” (super team). We managed to group 3 stewards (“stewards” in the Art of Hosting global community are considered caretakers of the Art of Hosting sessions): all of them were absolutely committed and exceptional people. Even though they had not met before, an environment of trust and security allowing progress in the design of the proposal, was immediately created. It was exciting for me to feel how they all contributed to give but also received many important lessons!
Another key element was the environment. During the three days of training, participants and hosts coexisted in the fertile valley of Vera, with lousy mobile and internet coverage. The nature, as Linda, in his teaching on AoH, taught us, it is what sustains, from the deepest part of the Iceberg, the AoH practices. Nature helped us feel and live this training to the beat of the blue planet that embraces us.
Last, but not least, the group of participants! They gave me the full conviction of another of the principles of AoH: we were exactly the people who had to be there, not more, not less. We created a very diverse group, with people linked to education, business world, social activism, and here were people coming from Portugal, England, Paraguay. Each one gave us something unique an unexpected gift, such as a wonderful big data and poetry by the light of the fire.
I could mention many more important details that gave shape and colour to this training, such as our dear hosts Fernando, Teresa and their friends cooking for and feeding our conversations with love.
The Art of Hosting is nothing but a way to create and sustain transformative conversations.
For all this reasons, when we left the formation we were well fed!