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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply

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