Explore 'Status' - The study of power dynamics
Status is not tied to roles/jobs/positions/money, but to how we behave. It is something we do, not who we are.
Status is an important area to examine, as the way we hold ourselves and how we speak and what we say can lead us to feeling more or less powerful, more or less capable and in control, and affects how well communication occurs. These are important issues in our dealing with others, in presenting, in job interviews, in teaching, and in working with customers and clients.
People are more comfortable in certain roles and therefore tend to play preferred status positions. Becoming aware of our behaviour means we can consciously alter it -- to improve communication (the more equal the status, the greater the communication), and to feel more 'powerful' and in control.
For writers and performers, status is a powerful area to explore as it is these transactions between people, the shifting and play for position, that keeps audiences engaged. When we read and watch we don't care about objects, we are held by what is happening between the people. A study of status helps in creating compelling characters.
"The discovery of
status transactions was thrilling, amazing and even frightening. We understood
that no behaviour is 'insignificant', that when we interact together our brains
are counting the blink-rate, and measuring changes in pupil size, and examining
sentence structure, and observing left/right synchronization, and registering
even the tiniest head movement, and gauging the distance between hand and
head, and so on."
- Keith Johnstone Impro for Storytellers (pg 220)
COMMENTS OF PARTICIPANTS
University of Regina Assistants to Deans and Assistant Deans:
Absolutely excellent learning that will stick with me ... Very valuable insights.
Useful to learn to better control situations, assist in avoiding confrontational situations.
Valuable in the workplace to assist in achieving positive results, respect, more responsibility.
It made you laugh, but got you thinking.
Farm Credit Canada:
I am an introverted person who doesn't care to be in spotlight situations. found it to be a valuable tool for me to use in front of a large group of people.
I hope to use the info to make myself more aware of how others see me and be more conscious of the kind of image I want to present in certain situations. Also will help to better 'read' and understand others.
Playing low taught me that it is tough to match others, and I need to be aware of others when they are playing low.
Most interesting - seeing the subtle differences that make such a difference in how you view whether a person seems powerful or not.
Becoming more aware of body language - posture, space, position of the head, etc
Useful to know how different actions can make you switch from high to low very quickly.