Role description

Why be(coming) a Host?

In Future Leaders Global, we are creating spaces that allow for self-development. These spaces will always have someone putting their attention to the purpose (intention) and principles (framework) of the given space. They will ensure that the space is powerful so that all who are part of the space will have experienced some becoming, transformation, or unfolding (depending on what word you prefer to use in which context ☺). Most of the time in Future Leaders, those spaces are held in smaller groups, tribes or circles, which the host is a part of. The host hosts the journey of their tribe throughout the space, gathering, and whole programme. They are responsible for the experience of their tribe. They ensure the becoming, transformation, and unfolding. Also for themselves, as they are part of their tribe. In FLG, we focus on leadership qualities. We want to empower and mobilise for responsible action, consciousness, and a thriving world. As a Host, that is your job.

In some situations, the host will be a facilitator, presenter, moderator, or trainer, instead. It is important to note the distinction between these five roles; more on that below. Because we want hosting to be the underlying attitude and skill, even when switching to another role or between spaces, and because the host will spend the most time with their tribe in smaller spaces, we name the role Host even though there are other tasks, responsibilities, and roles connected to this position.

How to be a host?

Our attention must be put to the Purpose and Process of each space. What is this space all about (content)? How might I get there (method)? This role description, and the learning material on being a Host, provide with answers to the latter question. There are three guiding practices when being with our tribes, in a larger group, and even during a one-to-one conversation:

  • Speak with Intention

  • Listen with Attention

  • Tend to the Wellbeing of the Whole

As a Host, we want powerful conversations and dialogues to happen that transform ourselves and how we understand the world – related to the purpose of the space. In doing so, we want to have courage, sincerity, focus, and wisdom. This requires self-awareness, roots, presence, and rapport building. It is normal that we have moments when either of these traits is difficult to embody. As a good host, we are aware of it and speak about it to our tribe (and colleagues). We create trust and empathy.

Whereas the above points out elements specifically for such work that we do at Future Leaders, the following analogy describes a general, underlying attitude as a host during gatherings and spaces: Imagine you want to throw a party or other large gathering. As the host, we will ensure everything is well-prepared, there will be a good atmosphere with food, drinks, decoration, set-up, props, perhaps a surprise, a plan B. The guests know when to be where, what the theme of the gathering is, and what to bring, if any. They will feel welcomed, almost at home, and will want to engage in conversations with other guests due to our introduction, games, and other arrangements. As good hosts, we will read the room, guide the guests to the next part of the entertainment with a warm invitation, and are allowing things to unfold and roam freely.

We strive at developing leadership. Hence, we are aiming at a state of co-hosting and participation. We do not settle with participants. We settle with responsible action, consciousness, and a thriving world. Our job is well done when everyone starts embodying the attitude and practices of a co-host.

What to do as a host?

By hosting, we hold space for becoming, transformation, and unfolding to happen. We craft spaces that invite to and enable dialogues and conversations by posing powerful questions and sharing our own thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Thus, this is not about advocacy, consultation, debate, negotiation, discussion, or “small-talk” – none of which leads to the becoming, transformation, and unfolding that we want to happen.

Before each space, we prepare! The rule of thumb is “be over-prepared and under-structured”! Know who is participating, know yourself, know what questions might work, know the possible context, know the purpose of the space and its embeddedness in the day, gathering, programme. Allow conversations to flow, allow silence, allow uncertainty and chaos. Focus on the purpose and, by applying the principles, trust the wisdom of the whole to “reach” whatever outcome there is to “reach”. As part of your preparation, ensure that the physical space is nicely set up, too. Our surroundings directly influence our emotions and thoughts and hence set the tone as we enter and are in the space.

In certain situations, we may switch to another role:

  • Presenter: one-way communication, giving information or inspiring, "having the answer".

  • Trainer: one-way, ensures knowledge transfer (vs. information), "having the answer".

  • Moderator: ensuring a process of discussion for others, outside the group, can step inside, but should do so with awareness and clarity for others (e.g. stating own opinion).

  • Facilitator: creates processes for a group of people with methods of deconstruction, simplification, brainstorming etc. Is neutral, outside the group, keeps track of everything. from facile which means easy: make (an action or process) easy or easier.

  • Host: Holds spaces around an intention/purpose with the focus on the people rather than the process. Transforms and learns, too! Is not neutral, has an opinion, is part of the group. Lets the group go where the group wants to go around the intention/purpose.

As a host, you are, more often than not, part of a city-team. This is linked to further responsibilities you can read more about in "expectations".

Here is a great article that differentiates between training and facilitating. And here between moderating and facilitating. Find more resources under Resources -> Hosting and Facilitation.

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