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 …


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