A quick little game to help you listen better, forever

Winter days. Quietness prevails. Then it rains, and the sun is gone for days. The world I live in is in hibernation mode, growth slowed, roots and branches in a state of rest and anticipation for the call to life in Spring.   
We’re totally stoked to be headlining Ackermans 100th Anniversary Conference at the CTICC in October – that’s just after Spring, right? Before that, we celebrate our own milestone, again at the CTICC, at FARR‘s annual conference – it’s almost been a freakin’ decade since we launched our community show about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – ‘Die Liefdeskind’ which will tour the Renosterburg part of the Northern Cape later this year. Shows 543, 544 and 545.But what the hey hey. The sun is out today. So here’s a cool little game we played in our workshops on How to Have a Great Talent Management Conversation (yes, it’s not an oxymoron) for Woolworth’s Financial Services recently. Once you’ve played it once, you can use it anytime, at the back of your mind…as a reminder: just listen, dammit.

One person says something, and the other starts their response using the last word the first person used. For example:

Sergei: Oh shyzen! I have run out of ze bubble bath!
       Monica: Bath! I wish you would! How long has it been since you last had a wash?
       Sergei: Wash that you say? 
       Monica: Say? Have you been on the vodka again?
       Sergei: Again and again… what can I do. It’s one of my favourite things.
       Monica: Things are hard, I know that my darling. Maybe the local elections will change things for us?
       Sergei: Us? Well, anything can happen when there is love, my darling….
       Monica: Darling! I love you, even though you are smelly.

And so on. Try it with a friend – or even better, a foe. Most delegates in our workshops had that ‘aha’ moment, realizing that they habitually interrupt others, complete their sentences for them, and have a premeditated script running in their heads, determining what they’re going to say next. Play it in your next smoke break.

In a recent long-distance conversation with my ex-wife about what to do about the burst sewer outside her house (she’s away for a month, and me a single parent over the holidays and looking after her house) she finally said: “If I could just get a word in edgeways!” (Well, she wasn’t on the scene, unexposed to the trauma, maybe I was going a bit bezerk) and then I realised! Listen to the end of the sentence. The conversation flowed then. Unlike the drains, which were blocked.

And on that lovely note – thanks for reading.

Until next time- hasta la pasta!

Sean

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TakeAway Theatre and Training est 2001