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Ruta Jonuseviciute and I like to share the story how we got mates at a training and became buddygurads for each other using AoH Methods. We also found out some guidelines how to buddyguard each other so you never work alone.

Buddyguard Story


Did you ever come back from a training thinking, how can I share my learnings and reflect on what has happened during the last few days? Ever felt like you needed a softer landing coming home after a training? That’s how I felt after being apprentice at a training in Dubingiai, Lithuania where Ruta and I met in November 2015.


Since the impact of the training was so powerful and the topics so meaningful, we decided to meet online to share our learnings after the training and to make inquiries where we can practice what we have learned. That’s how it started with the two of us, which turned eventually what we call now “buddyguarding”.


We agreed to be meeting on Sunday mornings since this was a perfect timing for both of us to reflect on the things that happened during the last week and to get ready for the next week.


At first the aspect of hosting ourselves was the main focus and the question was how do I host myself properly and how can I bring more attention to it. It was really supporting to focus on self hosting on a regular basis. In this way we could share our processes. In the following months the focus shifted more onto the question of how to actually use the AoH methods in our own contexts. Ruta works in a IT corporate business as IT Project Manager and I work as a Systemic Coach. I benefited a lot from having a buddyguard and since 1 year my Sundays always start with Art of Hosting.


Over the time I realized how important it is to have someone to share, especially when you come home from a AoH training. For me the trainings are quite intense experiences and when i come home it feels like I have to learn how to walk again. Being connected to someone who speaks the same language is a great gift and helps me to create a soft landing into the real world. And at the same time we can “keep the fire burning” in between trainings or gatherings.


Over the time we invited people to join us to practice AoH together. We worked on projects as well as personal topics using AoH methods. And we still invite people to come by to “sit with us by the fire” once they feel the need to warm up and share. This is an invitation to you to be an active part of the AoH Community and to keep it alive.


Here are some guidelines we discovered to be helpful:

  • Be brave and trust your feelings when asking someone to buddy up with you
    (you may regret not to have asked)  
  • Have a fixed date and time and place (for us is every Sunday 9 am on skype).
  • Do it regularly (the most important).
  • Always do a proper check in (it builds up trust and strengthens the relation).
  • Harvest together (We used Google Docs, especially in the beginning it is important to harvest together as it helps you to feel that buddyguarding makes a real difference. Harvesting together helps to show the development and reminds you that you are not alone).
  • Have a good frame around what you want to do: topic, timing, limitations, expectations, guidelines, purpose.
  • Have an overall purpose for buddyguarding each other and have a purpose for every single meeting (keep it simple and personal).
  • Appreciate differences (we are different in age, experience, cultural background, working fields, characters etc. - it gives us extra value and diversity).
  • Be together in a space beyond right and wrong (it’s so nice to be in a non judging space, enjoy)
  • Always do a proper check out (it helps to keep in practice; it’s a lovely ritual, and it gives framework to end the session).
  • Don’t make it too serious or holy it should be playful and enjoyable.


If you want to buddy up with someone or hear more, feel free to contact us. We love to share our experiences.



(with help from Ruta during one of our buddyguard sessions)



Ruta Jonuseviciute (

Andreas Giesen (


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Comment by Werner Danda on January 20, 2017 at 2:55pm

Dear Andreas, dear Ruta,

congratulation for your open exchange for using AOH in pratice and for the opportunity to develope your skills on regular base. We all are coming from different directions, where we use AoH and participatory cycles.

As I have a lot managerial experience from business and project running and I know the bottle necks of entrepreneural participation. Diverse training programs and employee engagements did not bring the

expected results in common ground. Most of the actvities are suffering under the need to have the content not only process under control. 

Therefore we can all benefit from different inputs from different experiences and views.

For the effective exchange I find it very important that you use the given structures (steps) we learn in Ao0.

(like purpose, harvesting, precencing, call in or call out,....). So you can contribute, what  matters.

At the moment I have a community project, where I will guide the people of the village to involve themeselfes in the implementation of the community projects. The task is to develope a trustful cooperative, participatory climate, a open space, which makes beside the official administration a voluntary, intrinsic  engagemnt of the civile people. This project is located in Upper Austria. A clear project structure is already developed together with the community. Now we have to show the common implementation and therefore we have to train the people in AoH tools. I would be happy to meet some AoH practioneers, who will share this Project with me.

Best regards Werner

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