Friday, February 18, 2011

hipmtfn: week 2 of monday evenings

improv ... my first class was jan 31; my second class was feb 7. we did not have class this week - something about valentine's day. six more classes. our instructors are three of the five guys pictured below - happens to be the ones looking at ya!

quickie class tidbits ... with nine folks taking the class, it's two hours of exercises and activities, one after the other. the first class included exercises on observe, give and take, which involved listening and making connections. the second class included building upon the first class and keeping in mind permission, relationship, environment, risk, which involved establishing trust and understanding status.

take-home tidbits ... after each class, we are encouraged to take home the core of some of the exercises into our daily lives. from this, my days have become much more enriched, colorful, and surprising, albeit these things were in front of my face the whole time. all very much welcomed.

in the first week ... one of the exercises involved looking at something and naming OUT LOUD what it WAS NOT. i decided i would practice this in cubeopolis and around SF; fun but not simple (at least not for me) but fun (really fun!). on the give/take, i observed others' interactions, as well as practicing give and take in conversation. what resulted was an even more heightened awareness of whether people were actually engaged in a conversation, were truly listening, and were even interested. this also made me listen differently - to diction, cadence, tonal qualities, etc. - along with observing eye contact (or lack of). in class, eye contact is important to making that connection. in cubeopolis, one can sense (and see) both bookends of connections - eye contact for the sake of eye contact, along with eye contact from someone who is truly singularly focused on the conversation. i'll take laser-pinpoint focus to vacuous-empty eyes, thank you.

in the second week ... the primary theme was status, e.g., hierarchy, position, etc., with the four little pillars - permission, relationship, environment, risk. and with the class break for valentine, we have two weeks to ponder and work with this. needless to say, cubeopolis is TARGET RICH for this set of activities and observations. TARGET RICH = information overload, but it is all extremely useful.

weeks 1 + 2 ... building upon the first week and incorporating the second week's little tidbits has certainly shifted my perspective - a bit of a double-edged sword. here are a few thoughts on what i've come to realize and appreciate (though not necessarily like or agree) -
  • the imposed-upon status, by the given titles, salaries, organization charts;
  • the acceptance of status, by those who unconditionally acknowledge the imposed-upon status;
  • the assumed status, by those who create his/her own hierarchy irrespective of titles and salaries;
  • the taking of status, by those who simply co-opt from others (fairly or unfairly);
  • the indifference to status, by those who disrespect others;
  • the use of status upon others, by the given roles and responsibilities and/or by some presumption of unconditional acceptance; and
  • ... i'm sure there are many others to this patchwork of status
unexpected ah-ha ... - and i'm thinking that simply with these two classes and my constant intro-retro-pro-spective moments of thought, this has contributed to a major breakthrough - whether i fit in cubeopolis is not relevant. that whole fit thing - it's a construct - we are all different, we are all same, and we are.

go figure.
didn't see that one coming.
celebrate respect.
(can't wait until the third class)

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