The value of loose ends

image-0012This is another extract from Viv’s and my new book, Nothing Is Written (free to download).

In Monty Python’s Life of Brian the eponymous antihero is fleeing a brigade of Roman soldiers. In his panic, he falls from a ledge into a spot where a variety of zany religious types are preaching to would-be followers. Brian nervously delivers a sermon in the hope of blending into the background and eluding his pursuers.

He’s not very good. The crowd challenge the details of his story, and the more stressed he becomes, the less convincing is his performance. Fortunately, the soldiers pass by and he can relax. So he abandons his story mid-sentence. It doesn’t really matter any more.

But this is just the point at which the audience moves from scepticism to curiosity. The unfinished nature of the story hooks them. As a result, a massive crowd builds up, trying to make sense of what’s happening, pursuing all manner of hilarious possibilities.

The value in training is to open people up to possibilities. It is the responsibility of the learner to pursue those possibilities. Being incomplete can keep people engaged.

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