My friend and colleague Chris Corrigan from Canada has proposed an excellent model for thinking about how we use the power of invitation. He offers five key points to consider:
- Verb: ‘Invite’ is a verb, and it requires action and responsiveness to do it
- Attractors and Boundaries: Invitations should have an attractive purpose at their centre, but also give a sense of the ‘container boundaries’ into which you are inviting people. What’s NOT part of this?
- Leadership: To invite is to lead, and following through on an invitation requires great leadership.
- Urgent: What’s the zeitgeist to which you are responding? What’s needed right now?
- Embodied: Invitation are person-to-person, and inviting is a whole-body sport where people see your enthusiasm and reactions close-up (so they’d better be congruent and convincing).
This all adds up to the VALUE of a great invitation! Here at Host Leadership we’re right behind this way of thinking and acting. We might add the importance of making the invitation Acknowledging of the person being invited, bringing out not only the attractiveness of the purpose but also the reasons why THIS particular person is being invited – what are we hoping they can bring to the ‘party’ in terms of experience, strengths, outlook or whatever. And remember, all invitations have an element of Choice about them – in order for there to be a heartfelt ‘Yes’ in response, there has also to be the possibility of ‘No’.
I particularly admire Chris Corrigan’s work on containers and boundaries, and it’s very interesting to see this kind of language included in the vocabulary of an invitation. Great stuff Chris!
Chris is coming to Scotland soon to run a two-day workshop on ‘Working In Complexity’ in Glasgow with our own Bronagh Gallagher later in the year (perhaps November 2017) so there is a chance for UK folks to experience his excellent and skilful work in person. Now please go check out Chris’s blog if you haven’t already – http://www.chriscorrigan.com/parkinglot/the-value-of-invitation/.