Thursday, May 31, 2007

Learning to talk to myself?

I went to London last week (the day before going to Lloyds) to a day's training - and an interesting day it turned out to be. The first half of the day was about learning how to talk out loud to yourself, and appearing madder than I already am. Well, OK, that's perhaps not exactly what we learned, but that's part of it.

Image streaming! It was, I have to say, very interesting and - for someone as visual and (I think) creative as me - very useful.

Image streaming is a bit like visualisation (using images to stimulate creativity) but the difference is you have to say out loud what you see. There's quite a few rules, well - concepts really - to make it successful, and you have to be prepared to talk out loud (so privacy is always good). But the results are scientifically supposed to increase IQ, so can't be a bad thing. There were some interesting points raised by various people in the group, and it also struck a chord with me on the music reading thing. When I play with the Brookfield Band they always give me music (which I can't read) with the chords under the staves (which I can read!). I discovered that I can play quicker if I say the chord names out loud than if I just read them. So - the thing about the brain processing more quickly or efficiently because I verbalise is certainly true for me.

I partnered up with a young woman from a college in Portsmouth, she's starting her own life coaching business. We got on well and at lunch time I took her down Portobello Road as she'd never been there. Unfortunately, not a market day, but it was sunny and we enjoyed the walk in the quiet suburban streets of London. We did the 'image streaming' together and it was intersting. She started in her garden, went for a drive, ended up in the countryside and then by a lake. My images started in the desert, included her walk in the countryside and had some quite strange juxtapositions of desert and woodland.

One of the rules is don't try to interpret as you go along, let it come to you at a future date, or you will end up 'directing' the images. So, no analysis forthcoming I'm afraid!

I have tried it twice so far (apart from the 'experiment' in the training itself) and I have had a few ideas sort themselves out, so it could be working. But I need the space and time - and privacy - to try it properly and not feel a right dork mumbling about what I see in my head. And to be honest, what I see in my head sometimes is quite bizarre (yeah, even more bizarre than some of the gigs I've played!).

The technique was developed by Win Wenger - so I'll check out his website and see what else I can learn. And practice a bit more too - when no one's listening!

But image streaming wasn't the only thing we did - we also had a session on 'emotional intelligence'. Now, I knew a bit about it as it features in some of the leadership stuff my boss does, but this was more in depth, but still only scratching the surface.

Interesting stuff again - but not nearly as much fun as the image streaming. The day ended with a discussion or more of a presentation on the change in western culture (mostly US) and the cyclical swing from 'civic' to 'individual' in 40 year chunks. Actually, it was just an excuse for the presenter to play his favourite songs from the last few decades, but some interesting research in there too.

A useful day for me, I certainly felt the image streaming will be something I can use, and enjoy just for the sake of it too.
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