024 – How to find comfort in uncertainty – with Grazyna Frackiewicz
In episode 024 of the workshops work Podcast, I talk to Grazyna Frackiewicz, a stand-up comedian, improv teacher and facilitator about hacks to overcome uncertainty. She will share what she has learned from her career in sales and marketing and how she uses these skills to design a process that helps her to stay in the moment.
Grazyna now runs the Living Improv Academy to help facilitators and team leaders to find confidence in uncertainty by applying methods of improvisation theatre.
You will learn how to prepare in a way that you will eventually even feel addicted to uncertainty when hosting a workshop.
My favourite part of the show happens when Grazyna and I discuss her favourite exercise “count to 20” and what we can learn from it about communication, collaboration, uncertainty and strategy.
Don’t miss the part when Grazyna explains how she “thinks on her feet” when she merges her stand-up, improv and theatre acting skills.
Questions and Answers
[1:29] If you were a Hashtag, what would you be?
[2:41] So what's your story? How did you get from sales/ marketing to acting to facilitating?
[6:15] what did you learn from your life as a sales and marketing person?
[7:49] Would you consider facilitation and communication as a “soft skill”?
[12:08] Given your background in improv theatre and your connection to yourself, how do you deal with uncertainty?
[14:39] To what extent is it about the facilitator him or herself to get out of the way?
[18:50] How much planning do you put into your workshops and how much room do you leave for improvisation and uncertainty?
[26:45] How do you help groups to deal with this discomfort of listening to their bodies in front of colleagues?
[29:11] There is a large difference with respect to the script between stand-up, improv and traditional theatre acting. Which skill do you refer to when it comes to facilitation?
[29:51] What do you mean by “thinking or feeling on your feet”?
[31:18] How much “acting” do you apply in a workshop?
[33:07] What makes a workshop fail?
[35:30] What would you recommend to a facilitator on how to deal with uncertainty, for example, when you sense that you won’t finish on time?
[38:56] What’s your favourite exercise to learn giving up control and to be in the moment?
[40:35] Is this an intuition that gets us to speak at the right moment?
[42:36] Do you see differences between the way teams perform in this exercise as opposed to a group of strangers?
[46:23] What shall the audience remember from our conversation?
Related links you may want to check out
Grazyna’s business page: www.livingimprovacademy.com
TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on relabeling stress
HBR Article on the correlation between speaking time and perceived value of meetings
Kurt Lewin’s 3-step change model (unfreeze – change – freeze)
Constantine Stanislavski the father of modern theatre
Our sponsor Session Lab (affiliate link)
Other shows we mentioned
Connect to Grazyna
Intro: What if your next team workshop delivered the results, you hoped for? What if everyone believed that the working session was a valuable use of their time and felt inspired to take action? My name is Myriam Hadnes and it is my mission to help you to deliver workshops that work. Today with me on the show is Grazyna Frackiewicz. She has a background in marketing and sales and in education and in acting and she's now a facilitator and also trains facilitators to feel more comfortable with uncertainty. So, this is exactly the topic of our conversation today, so stay tuned.
Myriam: Hello Grazyna.
Grazyna: Hi Myriam.
Myriam: Good to have you here today.
Grazyna: Yes, I'm also very excited and thank you very much for having me.
Myriam: Yeah, we had this mastermind session last week.
Grazyna: Yea, it was amazing. A huge congratulations to you, Myriam, because you really gathered amazing people, fantastic facilitators in one place and there was so much value that I took out and also I was able to give amazing knowledge sharing, sharing, sharing, sharing.
Myriam: Thank you. That's a lot of..., I'm blushing right now.
Grazyna: You should.
Grazyna: So let's talk about you. You have such a diverse background, you've traveled to many places, worked in many different places. If you had to summarize all of that in one Hashtag, what would you be?
Grazyna: Oh, that's a fantastic question. I would say energy hashtag energy. It's the energy that keeps me going to those different places. Staying up to the my own abilities to respond to opportunities and also I take a lot of energy from meeting new people, finding myself in new circumstances and learning. So it's all about exchange of that energy.
Myriam: I could definitely feel that energy when I saw you on a stage doing stand up comedy. Yes. Your energy spilled over to the audience.
Grazyna: Yeah. Thank you.
Myriam: I looked up your background and saw that you started in sales and marketing working for big corporates. You do stand up comedy, you're an actress and I got to know you as a facilitator. So what's your story? How did you travel from one to the other?
Grazyna: Well, it all starts with my passion actually for acting. Of course, you know, it's a typical story. When I was a little girl, I was performing in all the shows. I was involved and a spoke person for the class. So I always wanted to become an actress. But more importantly I just wanted to study it. I was fascinated how we move, why we react in the way we do. So all the philosophy of life and psychology behind who is a human being. And believe me or not, acting actually provides all of it. So I followed my education in acting, but life is tough.
Grazyna: And of course I had many voices saying you should get a real job. So I did. At the same time, having that real job was very useful for my acting background because they say that you can only be a good actor if you have lots of life experience. So finding myself in that new role among the people was also beneficial to who I am as a person and also professionally to learn a lot from different fields and use my skills in a different way as well.
Myriam: So when was the moment that you decided then to quit your job and go back into acting?
Grazyna: It actually happened me moving to Sicily because in Sicily, if you know it's quite hard their economical situation in Italy right now. So I remember I was speaking to my friend and she told me, you have a background in sales and project management and marketing and you also have a background in acting, teaching theater, and also actually you speak English, so why not having your own business?
Grazyna: That really stayed with me and hooked with me a lot. So I started to studying. Learning theories, methodology, how I can translate theater tools and tool kit for actors actually in the learning classroom. And I found a lot of literature about it, lots of studies that it is actually used widely because it's an engaging learning, the experiential learning as well, active learning. So after some studies, taking some courses, taking some certifications, et Cetera, I launched my own improvisation classes, but we were, I was teaching English, we were actually studying English in those classes.
Myriam: What a nice idea. So who were your students where they're adults or adolescence?
Grazyna: I started with adults and I started with a private workshops for individuals. It was from all over backgrounds. Young people just graduated, so other university but also English teachers because they wanted to know how they can teach their students more actively, more role playing, more engaging, actually use of English language in a conversation rather than just from the book.
Myriam: And you mentioned that you were told that to be a better actor you need to have life experience. So what did you learn from your life as a sales and marketing person, project manager then really for the acting and for teaching improvisation ?
Grazyna: That it's really important to provide outcome, that it's really important to have clear goals and define process.
Myriam: I love this answer. Makes total sense.
Grazyna: It's very organic. I would say sometimes unpredictable learning soft skills as a human being. When we have to apply our whole self, it's intangible sometimes, but the thing is that everything can be tangible. If we set a clear goal, a clear aim, even if it seems vague during the process, it will become much clearer what actually we are tapping into. So applying logic you can do to everything and I think that's what working for corporations and being more on the organizational side helped me also to apply and see things from a bigger perspective rather than just, hey, let's just do exercise, feel it. What do you feel? Yes. Now tell me.
Myriam: Yeah, it's a different style of training or facilitating and you mentioned soft skills. Would you think that improvisation or even communication is really a soft skill because the more I think about it, the more I realize that it's actually a hard skill because there's some theory behind it there. Clear evidence of how to do things and how to improve it.
Grazyna: Absolutely. Welcome to the club of people who understand and also believe that a soft skill is actually a hard skill.
Grazyna: It's a life skill.
Myriam: Yeah. Maybe not all soft skills. For instance, is empathy a soft skill?
Grazyna: I give it a lot of thought and to be honest, empathy is a skill. We think it's something you are born with. You are more sensitive to your environment, you have more empathy just because the way you are. The truth is it can be trained, can be acquired. It's a skill, it's an ability, whatever in us is an ability is a skill.
Myriam: Hmm. Yeah. I had the conversation with Daniel Stillman last week and we talked about something similar to the ability to read the room and I asked him whether you can learn it or not. And he said he hopes it because that's what he teaches in facilitation classes and says it's all about body language and also mimic and it's the ability to read the science that are given to you by your audience.
Grazyna: Yeah. It's practical. Reading the room really can come also with practical tools of how to learn it. It's first of all, you start with listening to yourself. Sounds vague. Well No. If we create a tangible goal to it, how's your stomach today? You are not able to feel it right now. Don't worry. It will come because you are training your attention. Yeah. So while we are training here right now, it's the attention. Where do I put my attention to? So you see everything can be very tangible and can be done in the process. So if you're already able, for example, to feel, because you are able to put attention to something, to your legs, to your head, to your chest immediately, this will also translate it.
Grazyna: You can put clear attention to something else because you practice focusing and then another stimulate will come into your perspective and perception and then you will become much more sensible to read those as well. So the better you know yourself and you can feel yourself, the better you can also translate it to others. Yes. The more you practice being present to yourself, which is the easiest target. That's why we're starting there.
Myriam: And still it's very difficult. Everyone who tried or practices meditation knows how difficult.
Grazyna: Oh yes. Look, when they first tried meditation, and I had actually lots of my acting background is in physical theater. So I, with my body, I'm in, I'm a friend, I can feel it, right? I tried the first time meditation and I got scared because I could hear my heart pumping and it felt just so scary. I'm just a life organism that might die one day because it goes all to the blood. You know? The pumps in my heart, but that's the thing that was my first learning objective is to be able to stay in listening to acquire that capacity just to be there. Comfortably.
Myriam: Comfortably. Yeah,
Myriam: And we agreed that today we'll talk about uncertainty. Yes, because we both realized that one big issue in facilitation, especially when working with a new group, when we have a clear target goal, process, there are always things that come up that we haven't planned. Some elephant in the room that is unrevealed or some hidden conflict. How do you deal with uncertainty given your background in improvisation theater and with your connection to yourself?
Grazyna: I became a really good friend with uncertainty. You can almost get addicted to it. The more you do improvisation and the more you stay in the unknown state, they're more pleasurable. It is because the thing is with uncertainty sounds scary. The things you are not certain of, but that's exactly this scary place to be in that limbo, in that fear. It's much more pleasurable and enjoyable and rewarding if you actually put yourself in mutter. You know, if you are actually on that wave and you can become comfortable with it. Again, it's an ability, it's like sailing through the sea. The first time you go it's scary, but then you learn, you learn how to operate you, how to read the sea. All those things can also be applied to the workshop settings.
Myriam: And it reminds me of, I think it was a ted talk where the person mentioned that actually it's the same feeling we have when we're scared and when we're excited. So just by we labeling this feeling that we have this very fast heartbeat and sweaty, sweaty palms or whatsoever. If we tell ourself, okay, that's excitement then ... This is what I hear when you say "addictive".
Grazyna: Yeah, you, you said it right it, the mindset shift has to happen to open ourselves to the uncertainty until we are close to it. There is a control and if we try to control something it will always go back to us in things we could not foresee because we are so focusing on controlling that one thing that we lost the perspective. Yeah. Being open is being ready to anything that might come and the readiness in it is the important factor,
Myriam: And this reminds me of the conversation we had to prepare this podcast where we spoke about the facilitator and how much it is about the facilitator, him or herself, or about the group. So if we're trying to have control to control our uncertainty by putting certainty and predictability in the room, this means it's all about us, right?
Grazyna: Yes. Yes. It may sounds a bit philosophical what I'm saying right now, but it's very, very practical in the moment. For example, if I'm speaking to you right now in this podcast, I'm focusing only on how Myriam is seeing me because I need to be authoritative in this room, right? I need people to listen to me. You see where all my energy, mental reasoning, where it all goes. It goes all to that one aspect. I'm not anymore with you. I'm not anymore really in myself. I'm just focusing on that one outcome, so I'm not giving anything. I'm in a control. I'm trying to control something that it's not really relevant to the situation right now because the objective for example, of this podcast is to share, to exchange, to give something to the people who are listening. It's not about me if I'm going to get this right, so for a facilitator is never about you. It's never about your objective. It's never about your training method. Because if it is, then there you go. You did a really great presentation.
Myriam: Presentation. Yeah. There's a difference between presentation and facilitation.
Grazyna: Exactly. Yeah. It's all about giving. It's all about that, that the person you have in front, the objective is at the end of this workshop person that will have a tangible tools how to apply in marketing. Okay. But if I'm already starting with this thought, I really need to get as much content as possible because this way I may be seen or this way I will receive so much or whatever it is because believe me or not, we all have it. We all want to do a great,
Myriam: Hopefully. Yeah. That's why we're here.
Grazyna: That's where we're also focusing our most efforts and that's what the outcome will be. So people will feel there was a lot of information, listen to the feedback you receive after the workshop or at training. Yeah, that was really informative.
Myriam: Yeah. Which is funny. There are studies that show that we enjoy conversations or interactions more the longer our own speaking time was. So there was this great article, I think it was on Harvard Business Review about managers who host meetings and then they're more likely to give a higher rating or to evaluate the meeting better because usually they have the most speaking time. So I think it's, it's a false friend in this way because as a facilitator we want to do a good job and then maybe there is just the trap to all the time with too much content, with too many exercises instead of letting the groups speak, letting the group have time to reflect and to get what they need in this moment.
Grazyna: Yeah. So, and that's exactly the link to the uncertainty and the preparation is very important is I cannot underline how much preparing materials thinking through establishing objectives, establishing clear goals, defining measures of success are crucial and that's what you should be in control of.
Myriam: And this already answers partly the question that I had in mind. With all this comfort with uncertainty, how much preparation do you actually put in your workshops or how much planning do you do and how much do you leave for improvisation or uncertainty and flexibility?
Grazyna: I think I might put too much actually. Preparation. I like it. It's just the way my brain works, you know? But before I really, really prepare everything from a hundred different angles. So I'm establishing, okay, what we are meeting for what's the aim what's the theme, what's the topic? And then I'm breaking it. Okay, what's really important to learn here? From there, how I can learn it. By what tools, what exercise, what different group settings. So then I'm coming up with those different exercise and mythologies, but then I'm doing an extra work and I'm thinking who is my customer, my client, who is my participant? The more data I know, the more I try to apply it to that different exercise. If people are very talkative, okay, maybe this exercise is to study. If people don't know each other. What about making some check-in or energizing exercise in between? So I'm really trying then to model it and then I'm imagining how people would react given already experienced that.
Grazyna: I have working with people, but be careful with that last part because that's already controlling, that's already preparing yourself for scenarios that may not be there. The one thing that I do, it is to practice because I think it was Napoleon Hill or or Andrew Campbell that was saying when you prepare for an interview, for example, really act out different scenarios. This way you are practicing as in real life. So this is part of the practice. So I'm prepared in case for any uncertainty, any circumstances, but then when I'm going to the workshop, it's all gone. It's just there for me like a hard drive that if I need it I can use it, I can not rely on it. I cannot be sure of it. I can experiment with it. So during the workshop itself, I would say that 50% I'm completely open also to improvising if it's needed because there is a really fascinating theory about process and change and if you really dive into it you can see the feedback that this is exactly how we learn and the process itself actually happens.
Grazyna: Change happens in different phases and you have to address each phase differently. You actually have to see it as a different phases all together and you need to follow wherever is coming up and whatever is happening in that phase and then you stop, you start with a new phase, you again treat it completely as it is reading the room, reading the participants, reading what is needed, what is coming up. You give this a full attention. You cannot do that if you are too much in control and focus on your project.
Myriam: So what are the different phases then?
Grazyna: The different phrases depends on what you are actually there to do. As a facilitator, what is the training about? If it's strictly information base, is it behavioral change? It really depends on what people need to change. Do they need to change mindset? They need to change the way of thinking, their knowledge. Everything has changed. You are changing everything so if you think about it into cutting it into phase that wherever is coming up in that particular process that we are doing here and now and you give it attention to it. Really giving what participants is asking even implicitly, don't worry at the end of the process everything will come back to where you started
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Myriam: So would you refer them to this theory of unfreeze, learn or practice input and then freeze. So in the beginning you need to unlearn everything that you had. Then you get new input, then you need to freeze this again in order to be able to apply it in the future. So these would be three phases.
Grazyna: Yes. Opening yourself is the basics of acquiring new information. So unlearning in that sense. Yes. What I was speaking about more particularly is that if, give me a topic for example, for a training,.
Myriam: How to be more comfortable with uncertainty.
Grazyna: Okay. Okay. So let's say that dealing with uncertainty, the first block of learning could be too, listening to yourself, getting more comfortable with your own being. So you can comfortably create space for others in the room. That is just one face. But if you think about it, being comfortable in your own body will not actually really teach you entirely how to deal with a certain. There are at least another four or five things that you will have to practice, but in that moment you don't think about the whole process. You are focusing what's coming up here and now and everything can come up. Okay.
Myriam: Okay. And so if you cut down as a facilitator, correct me if I'm wrong, if you've cut down as a facilitator, this entire learning process within one workshop into different phases, then you have the process in mind. But in every phase you can be spontaneous and adjust to the room.
Grazyna: The thing is that we want to achieve always something, right? Successful outcome that our participants are really gaining what they came for. In that case, they want to be confident with uncertainty. That's what they want. But each individual or in that it may be also a group of behavior as an overall, they have their own relationship with uncertainty. So tackling this will come up. For example, in listening to your body, what might come up that people never listened to their bodies. Yeah, they feel super uncomfortable to do it in front of other people in this group settings. Deal with it because that's the real objective. That's the real learning point that you want to achieve because they gave it to you. That's what they need to learn.
Myriam: So how would you help then a group to really deal with this discomfort to listen to their own body in front of their colleagues because it involves a lot of vulnerability, weakness,
Grazyna: I think that's where my stand up background is coming up. Humor, humor and down to earth seriousness. Let's be honest. We are not aliens. Maybe am I see a human being in front of me?
Myriam: Hopefully you made my day.
Grazyna: I'm a s as well, like we were born with the bodies. You accept it or not. That's what it is. I see you smiling right now. Smiling and laughing and just saying out loud things as they are it's such a shield breaker. It's much more easy than to adopt the thought. Okay. Just for those half an hour, one hour, I forget my title and okay, okay. I might even, you know, tease people also a bit, just try it. If it doesn't work, you have the whole power to stop it. Yeah. And giving control to a participant for their own wellbeing really creates a miracle because at the end of the day also it's responsibility. You came to learn something. It's not me trying to convince you. If you try that, then that's you, again, we come back to the controlling phase.
Myriam: And that's not how our brains learn.
Grazyna: That's not the environment to acquire anything new. And it's not really giving you possibility to open yourself. Yeah. It's just not the way the things emerge. Yeah.
Myriam: And you mentioned that this is ... So, in these kind of circumstances, it's when your stand-up skills come up or when you apply them. And stand-up, as far as I understand, it is very much scripted. Whereas improvisation is the exact opposite. And traditional theater or acting is also scripted? Even to a large extent because with standup it's scripted, but you play yourself and with acting it's scripted, but you're playing someone else. So looking at the three different types of acting, which skill is most important to you for the facilitation or, which one would you use in which, under which circumstance?
Grazyna: I think it's the ability to think on my feet. This is a creative process. So we are speaking about creativity here because if I need to prepare a stand-up material, I need to think now on my feet. It's just changing perspective, but applying the same methodology. If you think about it, if it's about acting, so acting out a real character and a proper role, it's also a state of readiness to feel on my feet.
Myriam: What do you mean by that? Thinking of feeling on your feet?
Grazyna: Well, I love this question. Yeah. As I said, it's being ready. I'm, I'm ready to, to give, I'm ready to act. I'm using everything that I haven't right now here as my own tools, my own feelings, my own facial expressions, my, my body. It's about being there and knowing that whatever I need is there and I'm just going to have to use it.
Grazyna: Thinking on your feet is basically making it very short, the gap between receiving an information, sinking it in, thinking about it, and then applying some of the tools that you would like to use. It's making it much more immediate. It's about trusting yourself. So it's a whole skill of how to trust that I'm capable and I'm ready to act.
Myriam: How much acting would you apply in workshop because, and correct me if I'm wrong, I can see the opposition between the tension of being authentic, just the true-self and acting, a role of being a facilitator.
Grazyna: You don't mix those two things and believe me or not, acting is about being authentic. It's exactly I don't want to get too complex here, but it's exactly what we were speaking about. Putting yourself in front as a facilitator rather than really being in the process and it's all about participants. It's the same with acting. If I'm thinking now to act out this way or this another, I'm inauthentic to myself. I need to first really feel it, embody it. I just need to do it. There is no thinking in it. It's doing it and I'm going to do it with how I am. I love Constantine Stanislavski, the father of the modern theater.
Myriam: A friend of mine, she pushes me all the time to read that book.
Grazyna: Yes, yes, absolutely. Because he, that's exactly what he was seeing in the 19 and 18th century theater. It was all very fake and he wanted how to create a truthful performance under imaginary circumstances. What it has to be authentic and there's so many people around world, so many different types of body musculature. We really don't need to act out of our possibilities. But in order to make truthful performance, you have to be true to yourself. First vulnerable naked and use exactly who you are.
Myriam: In your opinion, what makes a workshop fail?
Grazyna: M,I think workshop fails. If we put ourselves on the way, there's so many things workshop can fail because learning objectives are not clear enough. The measures of success are not even establish. There's so many things that can go wrong, but I think the more is when you are inauthentic yourself, when you try to push something that you are not actually embodying. Listen to me, people are not stupid. Okay? We are not completely insensitive to our surroundings. We know when somebody is authentic or not. We can feel it.
Myriam: I think it's an instinct.
Grazyna: It is an instinct and whenever the workshop is about you as a, as a facilitator about your aim, it can be felt. People will not respond. They will not resonate with you. I think also it's very important in the whole education settings. You have to be passionate. You cannot just come and say things as they are.
Grazyna: We have to see you because we learn also if different parts of our brain, we also learn using our emotions. We also learn using our imagination. So if I don't really have it coming from a facilitator, I will struggle to grasp the concept. I will struggle to listen, to pay attention. So it's really that giving state and being ready open to uncertainty as well rather than just getting ourselves on the way. And making it all about us or mythology or just the outcome.
Myriam: I'm totally with you and I believe that especially new facilitators might struggle with this a lot because although they want the best for their group, they're so nervous maybe about their planning and how it will go and they just like the experience of anticipating how a group might react or how much time the group might need for a certain exercise. So what would you recommend or advise to maybe an unexperienced facilitator on how to deal with uncertainty and maybe applied to the case of an exercise just takes double the time as expected and you know that you won't be able to finish all the process on time.
Grazyna: Hmm. Yeah. there is a quote also from the Stanislavski that I would like to share here, especially with everybody who is doing facilitation for not so such a long time is he was saying "Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art." So really ask why you do it because your WHY will be immediately reflected in what work you are actually achieving there with participants. It's about forgetting about yourself. Getting out of yourself and making it all about the process and the participants of course, it seemed more in a newbies and people who are just starting, but you would be surprised that also very well established and experienced facilitators.
Grazyna: Still may struggle with this, it's not about egotism and that I'm saying here that it's about me, me, me. It's also the good intentions that are sometimes in the way. For example, you really struggled let's say let's say marketing. You really struggled to make Facebook posts and how to create a really engaging content and then you came up with this new tool and it's so amazing and it really changed your career as a, as a marketing person and you just want people to, to know it. Fantastic. You think about others you want to share. There is a passion. You write a process. You are so good in designing how they can learn this new technique, amazing. But what if people don't need it? Who Cares? You are passionate about it. Yeah. For you it worked. This is already imposing on another person, what they may need and how they feel with it. And you might get frustrated, right? That something is not going on here and you are going through your objectives and through your process and through your tools and you're thinking what could may go wrong, right? What went wrong, why people didn't know responded. But the thing is, it was all about you.
Myriam: So how can we learn to get out of our own way?
Grazyna: Again, just be open. It sounds easier than it is. I mean, of course, maybe it's just a matter of time. With maturity, we learn to embrace our own weaknesses so we can be more open and we realize that we can learn from basically everyone. And to deal with our own uncertainties. It's to give up control, is to give up any control and being in that ready state.
Myriam: So what would be your favorite exercise to learn that?
Grazyna: There is one exercise from Improv, which is counting to 20. I don't even remember if it was Improv or actually a proper acting exercise. But everybody sits in a circle. It's the best done with closed eyes. And as a group we have to count to 20 altogether different people at the same time. We'll shout the numbers. Somebody has to start. The magic of this exercise is that you don't know who's going to start and you don't know who's gonna say the next number. But if two people say the same number at the same time, you need to start from the beginning. So this is a huge uncertainty and being in the room and reading and listening to yourself, all that one's done collectively. What's really amazing about this exercise is that you get immediately stressed and you focus so much on the outcome to arrive to number 20 the talk. The first thing that you do is you don't listen. And people constantly say five, five, six, six, six where it's all about "no switch". Listen to the room. Whenever your turn is coming, you know, and you have to act on it.
Myriam: I think I was just assuming I once did a similar exercise. Just to clarify as everyone, does it go around the circle? No. So everyone fields whenever it's their turn but it's intuition, right?
Grazyna: I struggle with the word intuition because I think it sounds very fluffy. For me, intuition, it's two things. It's all the experience you gather from before so all your knowledge and also being here and now so 100 readiness for perception. It's really perception in that moment combining it all together. If you think about it, we are sitting in the circle and you said one. Well of course number two is needed. If I am unsure, I should not speak up. There is a moment when you are assured that number two should happen and just act upon it. But if you think about it you are already forcing an outcome and other people also might think so. You're going to say number two together where you can also sense if you practice really since civilizing your body, you can actually sense who is going to speak because it's a completely different state of the body that we are sending signal to our surroundings.
Grazyna: If I want to say number two I immediately become straight. I prepare my voice, I even prepare my breath. So there are signals coming in. It's not all fluffy. I just feel I'm gonna say a number. No. This way you are actually practicing to be much more sensible and reading the room as well with all your senses.
Myriam: And when you do this exercise, do you sense or did you experience a difference between different groups? Of Instance? I can imagine that the team that has worked as a team there might get it right from the beginning just because they know each other so much and they know how to collaborate with each other. Whereas an entire new group that has never met each other before, they might struggle more.
Grazyna: Actually it's the opposite. The the group that haven't met each other before, they're much more cautious and they're waiting to say the number.
Grazyna: Whereas people who really know each other, it's like, yeah, they are assuming it's all about collaboration. Collaboration is a beautiful, beautiful extra outcome that this exercise provides, but it's actual listening. When we are too familiar with each other, we are not listening so much anymore because I know what's coming up.
Myriam: That's why we have so many fights in families and relationships because we just assume, but we don't ask anymore.
Grazyna: Yes, exactly. So there are two different types of settings. One time I did this exercise in a corporate setting and I was just, so, it was actually funny because I just forgot how competitively done this exercise, you know, can be, there was one person who decided for the whole group that she cracked the code and she would be immediately somebody who said one, she would say two. Somebody said three, she, she'll become always the second number.
Grazyna: And everybody just agreed to that because, hey, the outcome, the objective was to count the 20 right. We are here to get our goals right. Where it's like, no, it's about the process.
Myriam: Yes it is. But on the other hand, I think it's awesome to see that one person is taking leadership and introducing a process, a system to the group without even pointing it out or making it explicit. And the group understood that. I thought, okay, this makes sense. It will lead us to the goal. I think that's awesome.
Grazyna: That's absolutely brilliant. And personally I compliment them actually on that one and this is where the part of how much you improvise and how much you go with the plan. Let's say that I would be focusing so much that it's about process. No guys who did it wrong, but you go back. What I'm here actually to do, it's about driving their performance. It's about actually taking more leadership because this exercise is also about personal leadership. I act, I know I'm needed and I am acting upon it. Number is needed, but in that case you really need to be prepared of what the outcome will be of this group and you can adjust it. Then the exercise, whatever's is coming up with the group in that case, amazing strategy. Point that out. There's so many strategies. If you work together, if you say yes to that strategy, which you all did collectively. Problem would be if you would do it as a case of, yeah, the girl was just going to do everything right. It's a huge pressure so you have a really great reflection later. Is it present in your, in your, in your working environment. This exercise itself as any other that you do can go in million directions and that's where you really need to be on the stair of your ship but the sea is enormous. Yeah.
Myriam: It sounds for me as a perfect kind of ending thing. The sea is enormous. Beautiful. If someone fell asleep after minute one just woke up thought, oh, they were talking about the sea. What was it all about?
Grazyna: It was all about how to not get ourselves in the way of our facilitation. It's how to deal with uncertainty by being just open to it and comfortable. Never putting control. Too much control because in that control, this exactly excludes the process of learning and what beautiful things might emerge from that that are always there because there is a reason to.
Myriam: And if now someone in the audience wants to learn more from you, wants to see you standing up as a comedian, or, wants to learn how to be more comfortable with uncertainty, how can they reach you?
Grazyna: They can visit my website and that be www.livingimprovacademy.com You can also find me on Facebook. I know my name is quite difficult to just copy-paste it.
Myriam: I'll put it in the show notes.
Grazyna: Yes, I do workshops also for facilitators and individual coaching facilitation coaching. You can contact me via my website or just send me an email to email@example.com. I would love to practice uncertainty. Great. Thank you so much for sharing and taking the time. Thank you so much, Myriam, for having me. Really, it's really beautiful to have a conversation with you and make workshop works.
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