Learning Something New

What can I learn through my mind’s imagination that is real and accurate, or rather how much can I really learn just through my mind, through thinking?

I keep getting this vision of Dancing with the Stars – you know, the show where stars are paired up with dancers and compete. I don’t really watch the show, but I understand the concept. And I was thinking if I wanted to learn ballroom dancing, well, what might I do?

I could read about ballroom dancing; I could get one of those books that have the dance steps illustrated with 1, 2, 3, 4 arrows; I could watch ballroom dancing on TV; I could observe others ballroom dancing live and in person; and I could do ballroom dancing myself. At what point am I learning ballroom dancing? I think this came forward for me as an example, because while I can dance, dance, dance around a room, I have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing at all – just ask my husband.

So at what point would I be learning ballroom dancing?

When I go to the inner for an answer, I get this image and feeling of being in a room full of air movement, the sound of fabric sweeping by me, the sounds and the movement of dancers dancing in a room. And then I have the feeling of being part of the flow, being in the movement of the dance myself. My whole body gliding in circles around a room, the centrifugal force arcing round and round and round. That’s all in my imagination – I can imagine a multi-sensory experience. But, I still have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing.

To really truly learn to dance I’d have to do it, be in the dance, to experience the dance physically and emotionally for myself. Without the experience I can really only guess what I would learn – head, heart, body learn.

And I’d have to choose to be fully present in each moment.

I realize this is an example of learning a physical skill. So what if what I want to learn isn’t in the physical skill realm – like, let’s say, I want to understand why a specific demographic or psychographic group interacts with a totally new-to-them product or service. How do I learn experientially then?

How would you?

 

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About Lynette McCormack

Graphic facilitator and designer of non-traditional Qualitative Market Research, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Learning approaches. Co-founder of AH HA! (facilitation and consultation) and IdeaConnect (tools, workshops and training for Facilitative Leaders). Creator of LearningConnect®, a facilitated Qualitative Research Approach and KnowledgeConnectTM, a facilitated Knowledge Transfer and Innovation approach. As a facilitator, I take joy in creating and holding space for energy to flow while real work happens, guiding client teams to reach new levels of learning, collaboration, and alignment. Through use of graphic tools, conversation, journaling, storytelling and collage our sessions enable client teams to see the big picture together, create shared understanding and collective knowledge to make decisions and confidently move forward. I have presented at conferences hosted by QRCA, IIR & PDMA, ASTM, Pegasus, and the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI). We offer comprehensive training in our LearningConnect qualitative research process and facilitative leadership and workshops in intention setting, personal visioning and journaling. ... and I blog. Check out my personal offerings at www.radiate-from-center.com

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