I am sharing a workshop format from last week.
Students read a chapter from ‘Metaphors We Live By.’ We discussed it in class, deconstructed the concept of metaphor, and specifically focused on using metaphors for hard-to-explain moments (say, weather or color for a mood).
I then gave everyone ample time (around 10 minutes) to write an expansive (could be developed) metaphor for how they showed up today (‘feeling right now’).
We then arranged the chairs to face each other (in pairs) and three rounds (participants didn’t know about the upcoming rounds).
The first was to share their metaphor with the other person (3 mins each, with a loose call out to change).
In the second one (with a new partner), they were not allowed to speak while the other person was sharing and were encouraged to suspend what they might say in response (practice open listening).
In the last round, I asked them to connect and internalize their metaphor (the way they showed up) and be silent with the other person for 60 minutes.
I then asked everyone (without speaking) to go back to their journal of opinions (computer or notebook; it is a companion we keep in class) and type a reflection.
I suspect some configuration of this (maybe without the last round) could help build robust team communication and strengthen a collaborative culture.
Connectivity is cheap but comes at a cost. Another way of stating this is that connectivity is an opportunity for authorship and place-making (more is not more).
Listening to the effect of thin exchanges and media firehoses could allow space for more expansive thinking and curiosity about the self. Tactically, I often find that when I am uninspired, manually toning down connectivity (closing down Slack and Discord if it is open, less Linkedin, and opening IA Writer) can change my way of being.
I have been following the adventures of those attempting the Barkley Marathon and was excited to find Lazarus Lake on Tyler Cowen’s (often economics-centric) podcast.
I highly recommend it for those considering the connection between character, work, personal development, and, inevitably, self-leadership.