Homelessness and Sales….

Every Thursday morning at 7:00 I start my day with a rollicking, yet professional meeting with the Think Referrals Business Network. We have our breakfast, present our 60 second updates, maybe watch a presentation and/or discuss some of our business challenges. And, we have fun.

Some of the challenges that emerged today related to sales.

Sales. A scary word that conjures up plaid jacketed, smoking, slick used car salesmen and buyer’s remorse. EEK… But, this word is what we all do, all the time. Ask Daniel H. Pink! His newly released book “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” addresses this very issue. I love Dan Pink’s books (“A Whole New Mind” “Drive”) and this one is another goody. I recommend reading all three.

Pink discusses how we all work in sales, “whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others.”

Or a homeless person asking for help. Read more

Why stop playing because you are an…. adult?

When I was little, I didn’t want to grow up.

It was very clear I didn’t want to become an adult. It seemed a whole lot less fun. I wasn’t too far off!

Well, despite my resistance, I did “grow up” or at least I got bigger. I still fight the notion of being an adult, and now have as a mission to keep adults playing (Buffoonery Workshops). In my mind, it’s all about balancing the overwhelming seriousness of life with some playfulness.

Finding your playful bouffon!

Is it possible?

Here is an article by the Vancouver Sun published July 2012 on this topic. Would love to know your thoughts!

Adults relearn benefits of play

For anyone who’s stared longingly at a swing-set or quietly cursed the height restriction at McDonald’s Playland, the International Council on Active Aging brings a ball-pit full of good news.

At the organization’s latest annual conference, “older-adult playgrounds” were endorsed as a way of getting baby boomers and seniors to embrace healthier, active lifestyles. Like an Amber Alert for your inner child, the idea is to help grown-ups recover their sense of play and trick them into exercising at the same time.

“Unplugging”… What would our ancestors think!?

Yesterday my students and I were talking about people’s lack of social awareness because everyone is “plugged in” and not paying attention to their surroundings.

As an exercise, I took my Vanarts acting class(buffoonery physical course) to the Vancouver sea-bus station, a heritage edifice of beauty, to wander and observe the area, the people, the circumstances, the smells etc.. When we returned to the studio, each student played back, physically, what he or she spotted.

Vancouver Sea Bus Station

 

Everyone was very excited about their observations and how fun it was to physicalize all the ordinary people, and also the environment. They came up with such great representations of potential characters. It was an eye opener for them, and one that will feed their future work. Read more

Does your team have good peripheral vision?

Early on in a Buffoonery Workshop, whether it be the 2 day acting intensive or a 3 hour onsite team-building session, the group will experience a mirroring exercise that illustrates leadership, being aware of your co-workers (or fellow actors/crew), and the importance of having a wider vision. This simple, fun activity is profound in alerting  you to how you play, lead, or try to hold onto power (and what is most effective).

This fun video is put on by a bus company, LiJN, on the benefits of travelling in a group. A great effective team, those crabs!

Creativity in the workplace!

Some times you need to shake things up so you come up with better ideas, get energized, and inspired.

I’ve seen people come into my buffoonery class not on top of the world. I’ve heard, “I’m not feeling well”, “My back is sore”, “I’m really tired” and so on. I nod my head and encourage them to just play in their state, and that there are no expectations. I ask that they remain open to what might happen if they just show up.

Letting go and shaking it up!

And, they do. And, I’ve seen people completely turn their state around to a much more positive place.

Imagine if you could do that in the work place? Or, maybe you do!

The following article offers a few tips to help you reignite your employees.

Want to Nurture Creativity Among Employees? Assign Crazy.

Unless you’re a solo entrepreneur, you probably didn’t build your business on your own. Nope, I’m not referring to President Barack Obama’s incendiary remarks that recently ruffled some feathers in the small-business community. I’m talking about employees.

If you dream of building another Google or Patagonia one day, you’d do well to not only accept input from employees but actively seek it. Creativity doesn’t just happen. If you’re ready to really embrace the kind of culture where creativity and innovation may thrive, here’s how to get started.

Read more by Mathew Torin to get some good tips!

To Be or Not To Be…. Happy?

Seems like we are constantly on a Happy Quest in our society these days. Is it just us, our time, or an ancient quest that has been passed down the ages? Do we have more time than the “old days” to consider our feelings and whether they feel good, or bad? Or, is life getting so complicated by the information age that we feel a dissatisfaction by all the things we are NOT doing, or that we should do? Or, is there too much woowoo stuff out there making some of us feel inadequate if we are not meditating and running a full time business, and exercising, and, and, and…. Read more

Sir Ken Robinson on Education (RSA Animate)

If you ever wondered about the education system, or if you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with ADHD, have a watch and a listen to this video – speech by Sir Ken Robinson, animate by RSA (brilliantly done).

Your thoughts?

 

A Rant on Creativity….

Creativity and the Arts are Frivolous.

If you believe that, then you better not run into me or a few of my friends in a dark alley or even a coffee shop.

But.

Let’s say you did meet me in a coffee shop and we start talking about the recent arts education cuts. (I just heard about a whole performing arts program being sliced away, with 15 minutes notice given to the department at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, Canada).

You say, “Well, it’s about money, and the arts are frivolous, really.”

At that moment, you will see my face redden, my posture improve immensely, and you’ll sense a strange sort of energy hitting you, paralyzing you in your chair. You will not be able to shift, even if you command your legs to run.

Read the rest of my article at the Brainzooming Blog….

 

On trust…

Trust. A big word in relationships, in the workplace, and in every day life. We are forced to trust, even when we might not… i.e. how many of us check how clean a kitchen is at a restaurant before agreeing to eat their food? Probably never!

However, there are areas where trust, or a lack of trust, can have a significant impact on a situation. Relationships, intimate or casual, can suffer if there is little trust. And, on the other side of the coin, relationships can flourish with full trust. So.. how do we establish and nurture this crucial state? How do YOU inspire trust?

This article by Geoff Forte nicely addresses some ideas for trust in the workplace.

The Secrets of Building Trust in the Workplace

Scottish author George Macdonald said that “it is better to be trusted than loved.” That may not be entirely applicable in private life, but it certainly is a sound axiom to live by at work. Experts agree that trust is one of the most important ingredients to a productive, synergistic and communicative workplace. Much has been said about building relationships with co-workers, bosses and customers, but while that is an important element to success, the need to forge trusting relationships is the real key. What are some warning signs that you may have a trust issue in your workplace?

1-A very active “grapevine,” or “rumor mill”
2-High turnover rate
3-“Turf wars”
4-Defensiveness
5-Low initiative, morale

Read the rest of the article by Greg Forte,  contributor to Yahoo Voices

Traces… Their Truth?

I’ve been writing for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance lately and would like to share a couple of my recent articles. After seeing the play “Traces” by Theatre La Seizieme in Vancouver, here were some of my thoughts:

“Brush strokes, tattoos, video testimonials, life scars, legacies….. These are a few of the traces I pondered after watching Théâtre la Seizième’s original production “Traces”, directed (& created by) Craig Holzschuh and Anita Rochon, with collaboration by Gilles Poulin-Denis, (stage manager, Noa Anatot; set design: Julie Marten; lighting: Jeremy Baxter; music, Steve Charles; video, Corwin Ferguson) recently on at Studio 16 in Vancouver.

Coming from a family of artists – father, painter & potter – mother, fibre artist, I was always aware of the marks they were leaving in the world. I was in admiration of their visual contribution that will remain long after they are gone. It made me wonder about my contribution.”

Please read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog

A taste of the stage for “Traces”