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Holding Space

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Holding space is one of the most important responsibilities of leaders and change agents. It’s the art of “being with” a person or a group, allowing them to go through their experience without trying to fix them, feeling sorry for them, or judging them. It’s about witnessing their process without making it about you (how you feel, what you wish for them, how it was for you when you experienced something similar).

How to hold space for people:

  • Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom
  • Give people only as much information as they can handle
  • Don’t take their power away–empower them instead
  • Try to keep your own ego out of it
  • Make them feel safe enough to fail
  • Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness
  • Create a container for complex emotions, fear, trauma, etc
  • Allow them to make different decisions and to have different experiences than you would

Here are some great resources on holding space, a great skill that changes how human systems interact and develop.

Turning toward: connecting under quarantine

Five tips for re-humanizing meeting structure and process

Three Methods for Working with Chaos

“Holding Space” for Generative Conversations

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