Friday, August 24, 2012

Communication and mirroring

I gave a "talk" yesterday morning to the interpreter workshop. The first two minutes of the "talk" were silent and yet, everybody was attentive, engaged and alert. They responded to my queries and followed my directions. We yawned, waved, clapped and followed each other around the room - with out a word being spoken.
Human beings have an amazing ability to mirror the actions of other humans. This innate tendency allows us to make connections with each other, that go way beyond what we say.
I first became aware of "Mirroring" when I was demonstrating spinning. I would watch the people who were very interested in what I was doing and as they connected with me, their fingers would start to fiddle and fidget. Unconsciously, they were beginning to mirror the movements of my hands. Then, I learned, I could ask them if they wanted to try spinning themselves. They frequently would and as they learned and it connected, sometimes, just sometimes, I would see that spark of amazement in their eyes as spinning became part of them.
I began researching this mirroring and discovered that like with many of my discoveries, lots of people have been there before me. In fact, there is all kinds of research out there about it. You can follow many paths from this concept, and if you have interesting stories to share about mirroring, I'd love to hear them.

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