Posted by  GeoffBrown —February 7, 2012
Filed in Being Present, Facilitation, Gone Supping

I am the proud owner of a set of cards that will go with me everywhere … I have already used them (today) and can think of at least 3 more group gatherings where they may be useful.

The cards are called Group Works – A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings & Other Gatherings. – the Group Pattern Langauge Project even have a Facebook Page here.

Friends and colleagues Chris Corrigan and Dave Pollard have written about the cards at their respective blogs here (Chris) and here (Dave) – read these post to a feel for what they are and how these Pattern Cards might be used.

Within the box of cards, the overview booklet says … “The Group Works cards express shared wisdom underlying successful approaches that is more specific than general values less specific than tools and techniques. In order to distinguish whether or not a particular idea was a pattern, we asked ourselves questions like:
– does this describe a feature that shows up over and over again in group processes that fulfill the purpose for which they were called?
– does it happen across many different methods?
– can it take a variety of forms?
– does it show up at more than one scale?
– does it describe an action that can be consciously undertaken by conveyors and/or participants?
– does my gut respond to this with a sense of recognition?

My Own Pattern Card – Solitude

The set of cards includes blanks – inviting us to create our own cards. After reading through the cards, a new card emerged for me whilst out SUP’ing in 3 foot surf yesterday. Here it is …


Solitude is something I need when diving deep into group conversations. One of the reasons I love Open Space so much is the permission to walk away and have time alone … over a coffee, a short walk or even a retreat to the hotel room for a quick nap (I have had numerous participants do this during the course of 2 and 3 day Open Space gatherings!).

Being alone with your own thoughts can be a scary place and some people avoid it. Being mindful of creating space for this down time, rest and solitude is important for me.

Note – I just discovered the “Rest” card as I was designing “Solitude” and the two go hand in hand …



  1. You came up with this card while paddleboarding eh? 🙂


    Would love to see your evolving subdeck of cards that link group pattern language and facilitation capacity to SUP. Core strength? Flow? Riding the currents? Always start downwind?


  2. Geoff Brown says:

    Chris … you known me too well! Here’s the to-do item I plugged into my iPhone as the solitude post was published … “Do post on surfing, risk of failure & flow”

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