My dance group closes with single word summaries of our individual experiences. It’s a lovely way to end. A single word summary generally comes from the heart and experience, rather than the mind, and thinking. You can tell someone didn’t get deeply into the dance if they intellectualize the simple sharing, use several words, and express ideas and thoughts instead of an experience. That doesn’t happen often.
This week I created the playlist for my dance group. The single words people shared after our dance were closely aligned to the experience I had intended to elicit. Hearing their words deepened my own experience and appreciation.
My work involves coaxing people out of their minds to get to the heart of their message. People often think they don’t know what to say because their minds hijacked their perceptions. In a way, I trick people into expressing authentically by setting up situations that get their minds out of the way. A single word summary is a great tool for that. It can coax us out of our minds.
So try it. If someone is having trouble describing something, ask them,
- If you had to sum it up in a single word, what would it be?
Be prepared to be surprised by what you hear. And be prepared for them to be surprised by what comes out of their mouths. It’s a powerful tool. When I coax people out of their minds, I’m usually in awe of what they have to say. And so are they.