Playing with nonsense

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Alex Sternick has some great insights on the value of absurdity, including the arresting thought the nonsense can be a path to meaning.

it includes a reference to a little study that suggested reading an absurd story increases our mental capacity for recognising patterns.

He also suggests that developing a greater capacity to accept absurdity as part of life might be linked to greater resilience.

He is interested in the value of speaking gibberish. I have sometimes found in workshops that doing serious scenes in gibberish can really unlock more of participants’ potential. For example I remember working with a group in the Solomon Islands where they seemed to be struggling with performing in front of an audience. I asked them to repeat their performance in gibberish which they did with humour and what looked liked confidence.  And then they did it again in English, and you could see the step change straight away.

I also know when I’m doing improvisation around difficult conversations, it often helps to run a couple of absurdist versions to open up more possibilities.

Reminds me too of my favourite management writer, Richard Farson.

Hat tip and hug to Viv for skyping me the link.

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