The Art of Participatory Leadership Retreat

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On June 16-18, 2010 in New York City, I participated in a training/co-learning retreat called ‘The Art of Participatory Leadership” which was called and hosted by Martin Siesta, Toke Paludan Moller, Tuesday Ryan Hart, Nancy Fritsche Eagan and Kelly McGowan.

The intention of this interactive training/co-learning retreat was to expand and deepen the understanding of what is possible when we create structures and practices that keep our primary purpose and passion in the center of our work.

This training was an opportunity for me to enter a learning journey that I have been going through for 2 years, with worldly hosts/trainers who have deep practices of participatory leadership. I began my journey practicing circle meetings with my business partners and then extending it to dream circle and congress of women circle meetings.

The business strategic and healing circle meetings are held every other week where our collective wisdom and intelligence are engaged to find best solutions on any issues we are having. We practice speaking and listening with intention and always tend to the well being of each other. There are principles and practices to the circle and four agreements that are kept. These agreements are:

  1. Listen without judgment
  2. Whatever is said in circle stays in circle
  3. Offer what you can and ask for what you need
  4. silence is also part of the conversation.

We are having the best business meeting we have ever had and we have been together for over 16 years.

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The Art of Participatory Leadership Retreat allowed me to explore in more depth other practices: Open Space Technology, U Theory, Story Telling World Café, Pro Action Café, Calling/Inviting participatory conversations, harvesting conversations in a way that serves the work. I also was able to explore the questions that call us as practitioners as we go deeper into the work. They are:

  • How do we work with what is?
  • How do we move from conversation to wise action?
  • How can we plan for and design harvests that help us go to the next level?
  • How do we connect and strengthen networks, collaborations and communities of practice that allows us to thrive and draw energy from each other?

I am hooked on these processes and I’m learning more every day as I practice with others. If you are interested in the Art of Participatory Leadership through the Art of Hosting (AoH) and Harvesting conversations that matter join the AoH email list and visit Please give me feedback on this blog.

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Laboy published on September 17, 2010 3:47 PM.

Video Conversation #2.2 - How To Talk About Race ... was the previous entry in this blog.

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