A walk in London

jolioI had brunch with a friend from New York Steve Harrington, yesterday.

We swapped facilitation stories, and had a go at one of my favourite improv activities – two person drawing – see left. Steve talked about fear and fascination: when I’m doing something that truly engages me (like facilitating) I will often experience a mixture of these emotions – and growth happens when fascination leads me to take risks to explore new territory. So much really valuable learning happens outside our comfort zone. I also think a lot of training fails when the trainer settles inside his or her own comfort zone rather than sharing the adventure with participants.

speakers corner guyWe also wandered into Speakers’ Corner. A wild marketplace of ideas. I loved the contrasts, for example between the speakers with huge crowds and those with none. I quite liked the approach of the guy I incompetently photographed (right) who simply wandered round with a sandwich board saying “It’s now or never, come listen to me, I’m very clever, I know everything.” (Another late-middle-aged gentleman walked around claiming the secret to eternal youth). Perhaps not a million miles from the variety in the blogosphere.

3 thoughts on “A walk in London

  1. Steve Harrington

    I was one of the co-drawers yesterday. Something wonderful in that drawing exrecise! I also enjoyed the Hyde park speakers corner characters. I couldn’t decide whether it was more interesting to watch the speaker or one of the people hooked by the speaker into back-and=forth exchange.

    Many of these exchanges have the the fatial disease of certainty; a lot of heat, but not much light. Interesting short hot assertions challenging you to listen to hook-up and get the drift…

    On the New York subway on the way to the airport and London I listened to a guy playing rapid intense riffs of Jazz saxiphone. I thought some of the speakers spoke like that jazz guy: intense points, rapid riffs, unexpected directions, lot of noise all round to contend with means a lot of focus and when you really play the riff people stop and listen and get some and then take it with them on the subway.

  2. Elmine Wijnia

    As a matter of fact, I did compare the blogosphere with Speaker’s Corner in my paper for BlogTalk. I absolutely love the fenomenon. Pitty we have no Dutch equivalent.


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