Inquiry

rubin vase

According to wikipedia, negative space is defined, in art, as “the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, and not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space is occasionally used to artistic effect as the "real" subject of an image. The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition.” In other words the absence of color can be very powerful.

This seems like a good analogy for the power of the inquiry process. In other words, as facilitators we do not need to color every question or comment with our own experience, thoughts or expertise. There is wisdom in saying or telling less. We can use our content knowledge to ask deep questions and solicit wisdom from our participants. This will ultimately have more impact on our audience because they can reflect and internalize information more efficiently.

It is a difficult balance. I know I struggle frequently with implementing this stance towards learning. The negative space analogy helps me remember that facilitation is a work of art and takes lots of practice.

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