What irks you about trying to change the world?

June Muse Letter

Whether you are on the receiving end or on the giving end of a learning/change process, I invite you to write to me and vent all your frustrations about it. You are welcome to play the ‘meanie’ and let rip – even if just for fun. As they say, many a truth is spoken in jest!

Let me make three points as context to this invitation:

  • Thank you for your engagement
  • Playing Mantis’s service to you
  • Engaging with what irks you

Thank you for your engagement

In my last Muse Letter, I explained that Playing Mantis was going through some changes and I invited you to have a cup of coffee with me to talk about the topic‘What do you think of an ethics of artistry? Can such a business make money?’

I had beautiful conversations with Christian Freisleben-Teutscher, Graham Williams, Wilhelm Crous, Katya Ratcliffe, Wendy Cooke, Josh Ramsey, Steve Banhegyi, Bobby Gordon, VasinthaPather, LurindaMaree,and others. I also tip my hat to the Playing Mantis Pig Catchers

ho happily engaged with the questions, as well as many of my students at Wits.

Because of these conversations –

  • Christian and I will launch an online Pig Catching group (for coaches and facilitators who want to change the world for good).
  • Graham, Steve and I have collaborated with a few others to design a leadership retreat for battered bosses.
  • Vasintha and I are talking about a cohort of people like us who use playful methods for serious business.
  • I found someone who can redo my website in response to these changes (please be patient, he works full time and is doing this for me as a favour).
  • Wendy and I have begun to laugh together.

Most importantly, though –

I have a much clearer picture of what Playing Mantis could offer.

Playing Mantis’s service to you

Playing Mantis wants to help thought leaders like you to change the world with the help of Strategic Narrative Embodiment (SNE).

With the Strategic Narrative Embodiment model you will find courage to play spontaneously and passionately, to connect with yourself and the people around you and to transform your everyday life into a force for positive change. And then to do the same for your clients, your team and your community.

Let’s return humanenessto the workplace and transform the world of work into a healthy thriving place where generosity, collaboration and social justice can be a reality!

So, our service has three parts:

  1. Your personal transformational story (strategic narrative) embodied in your own work.
  2. Helping your client find and embody their transformational story.
  3. Creating a community of thought leaders who learn from each other’s stories and collaborate to change the world.

Engaging with what irks you

True, I could cook up a million benefits of SNE if I wished, but who says it would mean anything to you? So, that is why I want to know what it is that irks you.

If you let me see into your frustrations with your own or others’ attempts to change the world, we could find ways to reduce the frustration together.  You could think of it from any [ers[ective that makes sense to you: the one who tries to change something or someone, or the one who is being asked to change.

  1. Set your watch for three minutes.
  2. Rant without stopping.
  3. Mail it to me as is.

Give it as it comes. Be nasty, funny, satirical, ironic or just plain mean–as long as you enjoy the game. I will listen to what you care about and the values that lie beneath the storm. I will feed it back to you just as in the facilitation game ‘The Rant’. It will help us discover what is important to you and address the frustrations together.

By all means, use the game in your practice and see what happens …

If you know the exercise already, tell us what it does for you and your clients.

Bonus facilitation notes for using ‘the rant’:

Sometimes I give two people who really have it in for something a rope to tug at between them. I might also give each member of a group a rolled up newspaper and instruct them to hit a chair with it. I let them imagine their frustration sitting on the chair and motivate them to attack it with as much vehemence as they can muster. Notice, it is not an imagined person on the chair but an imagined issue.

I once did this with a group of health insurance agents from one of our prominent medical aid providers. They had a blast! Then we sat down and recorded all their grievances about their work, along with positive suggestions to management about solutions. The work was productive and meaningful because emotions had been cleared and the things they really cared about were articulated, then heard and seen.

Of course, some people enjoy this exercise and others hate it. They hate it because they see themselves as positive, peace-loving people. Others hate it because they have to work so hard at keeping those emotions down that allowing them to bubble up can be painful. Keep it light and only use props if they seem appropriate.

Back to you

Please set the timer and rant, then mail. I can’t wait to hear from you!!!

OR

Book me to tell a story, design a conference, engage people in your vision.

OR

Simply invite me for a cup of tea.

 

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