The center of a meeting space is a physical space. Yes. A point to which people have equal access. Or perhaps, unimpeded access. Or, shared access. It could be the center of a circle of chairs, a point on the floor with a book. Or flowers. Or cloths and bowls like in this above photo for a group of 120. It could also be the center of a table, marked by even a pen. A center is different than a front of the room. Yes, a front of the room is called for at times. Good. As always, don’t forget that there are choices. Physically, what I tell people that are just starting to learn participative leadership, is to get used to moving chairs. So that there is a center.
The center of a meeting space is also an energetic space. Yes. An area that can act as holding place for people’s intentions, questions, worries, imaginations, aspirations. It’s an area to place a thought, daring to let it rest with thoughts that others are also contributing. It’s an area to let energetically simmer what is arising from people interacting. I often think of the center as a giant pot for cooking soup. The ingredients for that soup are all that people add to the figurative middle of important work and discovery that we human beings need to cook together.
I love the photos scattered around this center. They were used as physical images in an exercise to invite people to come to the middle, in silence, and to select an image that represents some of how they feel about the business that we would be up to together on this day.
A call to come to the center of the work. A call to go to the center in themselves. They both matter. Physically. Energetically. Repeatedly.