Co-Powering Communication - Open Space Technology Breakout Session

    Posted by David Marshall

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    Co-Powering Communication

    Roberto Vargas Notes: July 20, 2012

    Our challenging context

    • We are too quick to give negative feedback rather than positive.  Mostly the norm is 80% negative comments and 20% positive.
    • We live in an ocean of negativity.  The ocean of our culture is to put each other down.  The messages are also you have to buy this or else you are not good enough.  What is perpetuated is negativity, fear, anxiety. 
    • Look at damage being done by the computer games based on power, violence, and intimidation.
    • It takes 6-7 positive statements to neutralize the harm of a negative comment (research).

    About Empowerment

    • The root definition is the granting of power by decree. It connotes one-up-manship and being in control.  “I’m in control and authority and I am empowering you.”

    About co-powerment

    • I’m seeking to lift you and myself up.  It’s a mutual lift.  It’s about connecting at the same vibrational level. 

    Begins with a “companionship attitude”

    • You are interested in knowing the other person.
    • You show your interest from a receptive plane.
    • Your desire is to become one with the other person.
    • It’s about seeking a good relationship.


    • Find out people’s stories.  Everyone is interesting.
    • Ask questions and listen attentively
    • Be non-judgmental
    • Connect with others wherever they are at.  Ask, “Tell me more.” 
    • If they are in despair, encourage them to know and feel their experience.   You could say, “You are paying attention to what is going on inside of you, tell me more.”
    • Remember the power of non-verbal communication.  7% is logos, 82% is ethos/character/your presence. (research) * Ask Ellen.
    • Avoid saying “but”.  Often we hear “Yes, but…”  This invalidates the positive. Better to say “Yes, and …”
    • Remember to listen. Too often we do too much talking.
    • Get into the vibration of being with the other, be supportive and listen.
    • Ask, “How do you feel about it?”
    • Help people remember who they are—intelligent, caring beings.
    • Seek to co-create and develop context for co-creation
    • Be present, absolutely present.
    • It requires courage.
    • Ask can we work together?
    • Invite children to express their knowledge.  Children can be invited to speak to almost anything.  They have a perspective and wisdom. (e.g., they spoke about identity.”

    How to co-power using technology

    Use “Google.” And put up an idea to which everyone is able to comment to.