• Guy

Talking and moving exercises

Plenty of movement coming into my work recently, and I’ve been promising to say a little about it, so here goes. Working backwards…

I did a little demo on the course in Łódź of a way of scaling I’ve been using with teams – adapted from an idea of Paul Hackett’s. Each team member is standing on the circumference of a circle, which becomes the ‘0’ on the scale, while the centre of the circle is the ’10’. The scale can be anything that fits for the team that you are working with – the last time I used it, ‘cohesiveness’ was something that the team wanted, so ‘as cohesive as you could be’ was the centre – in the Łódź demo it was simply ‘the team is functioning at its best, in doing the job it is meant to do’ (and the edge of the circle was ‘the team has to be disbanded right now’). Each person was invited to step along the radius to where they saw the team’s functioning now. I then asked each person in turn questions about what put them there and not nearer the edge, before inviting each to step a little closer to the centre (and therefore to each other). I ended by eliciting signs of being that bit further along the radius. (Paul’s original idea was, I think, a couple walking towards each other).

On my last visit to Poland, at the September EBTA conference in Torun, I finished a plenary session on work at the borders of SF by having the  audience pair up and do the exercise I had piloted on my Next Steps course in Preston a few weeks earlier. Each person interviewed the other about their hopes for themselves for the rest of 2012, and then each person had to create a movement that somehow represented or communicated their hopes, and then show their partner this movement. The ‘witness’ to the movement then had to reflect back what they had seen. The exercise finished with everyone performing their movement together, simultaneously calling out a word or phrase chosen to accompany the movement. (See also a brief report on UKASFP’s website).

The plenary finished right there – with a bang – so there was no discussion after, but one or two people told me later how useful the experience had been. Reactions from the Preston participants had been similar, including this one from mental health nurse manager, Andrew Kirkby:

“I loved the movement exercise and thought I’d have a bash myself  by having an impromptu 1:1 session with someone whilst walking down Lytham Prom. It worked well. As a crack I also went out for a bike ride with a mate and had a solution focussed 20 mile chat. Could this actually be a first?”

I suspect so, Andrew…

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