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Showing posts from December, 2013

Developing Emotional Intelligence: The Very Serious Need For Silliness and Play

A warm-up often used to generate spontaneity and bypass self-consciousness in an improvisation-based workshop is called "What Are You Doing?" The exercise goes like this: 
The first player steps into the circle and starts miming an activity. As soon as the activity is clear, player 2 asks `What are you doing?” The first player answers something that has nothing to do with what he`s actually doing. E.g. if player 1 is cutting someone`s hair, when asked what he`s doing he might say "I`m reading the newspaper".The second player starts miming the activity stated by the previous player. A third player comes up to player 2, asks what he is doing, and so on.Play until everyone has mimed something, and has answered the question.   In subsequent rounds the idea is to pick up the pace so there is very little lag time between question, answer and new behavior.       Simple, right? Silly too. It is harder than it sounds and smarter than you might think. Naming a physical behavior…

The Emotional Intelligence of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela famously forgave the people who imprisoned him, an extraordinary thing especially since they were willing actors in an abusive system, one that imposed decades of indescribable suffering and violence on millions of his people. He forgave Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for doing business with the apartheid regimeand would probably forgive members of the U.S. Congress and political pundits who labeled him a Communist and terrorist even upon the announcement of his death. 
     There were American diplomats who ignored the ignored the brutality and violence of the apartheid government and supported his imprisonment. Most of us would find that hard to take. Most of us struggle to accept being misjudged or unfairly labeled even when the consequences are simply emotional tensions. And in our sound bite culture, there is a rush to idolize a person with such a remarkable emotional capacity. We might miss the ways he was exactly like the rest of us and in doing that miss als…