Saturday, August 26, 2006

Culture/advising: the ape, imitation and Halina

Following on my previous blogpost, I want to share a practical way of using the apish group dynamics. Conniff talks about the importance of imitation, in a chapter called 'born to imitate'. When people engage in a conversation, there is an enormous amount of imitation going on. The 'mirroring' of body language is one, but the accent, speed, frequency of speech etc. as well. Choice of words is another one. This is an important mechanism behind the creation of an 'organisational culture'.

Last week, the television program zomergasten had Halina Reijn as guest, a Dutch actress. It was extremely tiresome to watch the program. When you analyse it in terms of imitation, there was very little imitation between the interviewer and Halina. She kept on speaking very rapidly, and the interviewer was very thoughtfull and much slower in speaking. But there was not a sign of the two getting closer to eachother. I think it shows a lack of real interaction between the two, Halina running her own 'show' which made watching the program very tedious. As an advisor you can make use of all these kind of observations.

Now seeing the picture: both look in different directions, both in a different mood (and I didn't choose the picture because of this!)

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