Guest Post — Inviting the Co-hosting of a Harmonic

with Conor Ritchie-Dunham, singer songwriter, composer, and lead guitar and vocals in The Contradictions

Many of you who follow this blog lead groups of people taking on deeper levels of collaboration, working through the challenges of experiencing a deeper harmonic while embracing ever-more challenging issues. We know that this harmonic reflects the behavior of a group, and who we are being as leaders. While we talk a lot about this harmonic in our community, I realized that I have direct access to a couple of people who know a lot about generating a harmonic, in music. Having the fortune to experience great amounts of music in my home, created most often by my daughter and son, I was talking with my son Conor this past week about the art and science of generating a harmonic in one’s own music, and what it takes to generate the enlivening experience of a harmonic in music with any audience. Conor shares his experience in inviting the co-hosting of a harmonic in the rest of this blogpost.

In preparation for a performance, it is the artist’s responsibility to generate a space for the harmonic. We cannot create a harmonic, just as we cannot make someone love us. But we can create the conditions in which that harmonic has ample opportunity to arise. In hosting a dinner party, for example, we cannot simply tell our guests to have a good time. We must learn from our past positive dinner-party experiences, replicate those conditions, pay close attention to how the experience goes, and learn from there. In seeking a good experience for our guests, we hope to generate an environment where they have ample opportunity to feel comfortable, satisfied, entertained and included in a sense of companionship.

As musicians we seek many of the same factors in preparing for a performance. We wish for our audience to be comfortable: In a comfortable venue that is suitable for the type of performance at hand, and which promotes the experience we wish the performance to give. (A large stadium for awe and wonder, or an intimate poetry café for trance-like introspection.)

We wish for our audience to be satisfied: Having a performance of appropriate length so that it is long enough that they feel the event was worth their money, yet short enough so as not to bore. Ordering the songs so that there is enough dynamic and emotional variance throughout the performance to keep it interesting. Proper attention paid to the sound equipment and acoustics of the space so that sound quality complements the performance.

We wish for our audience to be entertained: That the music itself is of quality, the performances are impressive, authentic, passionate and tell a story, and that any other factors of the performance such as light show, scenery or choreography do their part to aide the emotional effect of the performances.

We also wish for our audience to feel included in a sense of companionship. Concerts of certain styles are often self selecting in the type of person they attract, but it is the co-host and artist’s job to make them feel welcome. Personal, authentic interaction with the audience, which shows leadership and command, yet gratitude and humbleness is a must.

With experience, the performer, like the co-host, can learn to consistently generate and maintain an environment where a powerful harmonic can thrive, and where it can continue to live in the hearts of those who experienced it long after the final dish is served and the final note is played.

In order to co-host a harmonic, I have learned that I must first authentically feel that harmonic within myself. As a performer, I find it helpful to solidify a pre-show routine that will reliably foster that harmonic in me. After a full-body stretch and a vocal warm-up, I go to a dark corner, close my eyes, and meditate, focusing on releasing nervous energy and connecting to my emotional core. I know the performance begins the moment I step on stage. So these preparations allow me to set the atmosphere of the performance before I even begin the first song. When performing with others, I will extend this pre-show routine to include them. After I have fostered the harmonic in myself, I will bring it to them, perhaps by holding hands and saying a blessing, cheer, or singing a song. When we are connected and ready, we can step on stage and bring that harmonic to the audience.

 

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Seeing Your Agreements in 37 Words — Choosing Them in < 3 Tweets

You interact to have experiences and to get results.  That is why you do what you do.  The agreements you consciously choose or unconsciously accept define how you interact.  Those agreements are based on embedded, interwoven assumptions.

Knowing this is happening, you can choose (1) how you interact (the agreements), (2) the experiences you have, and (3) the results you produce.  It is your choice.

 

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How Wealthy Are You? Measures of Wellbeing and Activity

Many frameworks propose that wealth is either measured in how much you have or in how much you enjoy the journey. Wealth is seen as an end or as a means. It is about having or it is about being. So it seems that you can either focus on accumulating for the future or you can focus on enjoying the day-to-day flow, but not both. However, our research suggests that the people reporting the most sustained experience of high levels of vibrancy are also wealthy in both aspects; in both the ends and the means, in the outcomes and in the experience, and in both the destination and the journey.

If it is true that we pay attention to what we measure, then to achieve wealth in both having and being, we need to be able to measure wealth in both the outcomes and the experience. Over the past five years, in our research at the Institute for Strategic Clarity with people experiencing off-the-charts wealth, we have developed metrics measuring both the experience we have along the way and the value of what we accumulate by the time we reach the destination.

Wealth through experience. We measure the wealth of your experience through the Harmonic Vibrancy survey, which you can take for free online.  Taken by over 2,400 people from 92 countries, the 12-minute survey assesses the wealth of your experience through the vibrancy you experience overall in the five relationships: in your relationship to your own self, to other individuals, to the group, to the creative process, and to the source of creativity. Greater vibrancy in all five relationships correlates directly to greater perceived wealth in one’s experience. To increase the wealth of your experience, our metric will show you which primary relationships to improve.

Wealth through accumulated outcomes. We measure the wealth of what you have accumulated along the way through the value of the resources you have when you arrive at the destination. While the money in your bank account and the value of your investment portfolio certainly count towards your accumulated wealth, our research has also catalogued many other assets that the off-the-charts successful have accumulated of equal or even greater value. We use the Agreements Evidence Map to assess the amount of value you have in resources accumulated in your own capacities, in those of others and the group, of capital, of inventories of goods, of what you are learning, of relationships you are developing, and of the potential you see and experience in yourself and in others. We find that the value we identify through the Agreements Evidence Map correlates highly with perceived accumulated wealth – more so than just the amount of money in one’s bank account and investments.

Finally, we find that your wealth through experience correlates highly with your wealth through accumulated outcomes. The data shows that higher vibrancy experienced correlates significantly with higher perceived wealth value accumulated. So from what we see with very successful people, it is not about either having a great experience or about accumulating wealth, rather it is about both. Both about having a highly vibrant experience and the value of the fullness of what is accumulated. Now that we have the metrics for assessing your full experience and your full value accumulated, you can begin using them to assess your own wealth.

You Experience Scarcity and Abundance, And How You Know You Know About That Experience — A Dialog with Orland Bishop

You have the experience of scarcity and the experience of abundance, and you know that you do.  Everyone I have met confirms this.  In this dialog, our colleague Orland Bishop describes this experience we all have, and how you know that you know about this experience.  Click here to listen to this dialog.

For an in-depth look at the experience of scarcity and abundance, and what this experience tells you about your agreements, check out the Ecosynomics e-course.

Your Experience of Groups, Awful and Great

Over the next seven posts, I will share a typical conversation I have these days, like the one I had last week in Boston, last month in North Carolina, two months ago in Mexico City, and three months ago in Germany.  At the end of each post, I will ask for your feedback.

I usually start the conversation with a simple question of whether they are experiencing the best they believe they can in their life.  So far, everyone has said that sometimes they experience the best they can, but not all the time.  When I ask why, they look at me funny, and say, “well, that’s just the way it is.  I don’t know.”  When I tell them that I think they do know, they give me the look of, “Oh yeah?  Show me.”

This is where it gets fun for me, because, like with the people I have engaged in the following conversation, I believe that I can show you, the reader, something you know to be true, but often do not realize.  To show you, now, what you know and a practical way of making sense of it, I will jump straight to the main point.

 

Experience of groups, awful and great

The conversation, which can be as short as five minutes or extend to hours, starts by asking people whether they have ever experienced a group or place where they feel awful?  This usually gets me a funny look, of “what do you mean?”  I suggest that they might feel bad while in the group or realize it afterward.  After being with these people or in this place, they feel fatigued, tired, frustrated, and they want to change something.  They want to medicate themselves.  Whether it is going for a walk, watching television, drinking a coffee or a beer, they need to do something else, to get away from the feeling of fatigue from the group.  At this point in the conversation, everyone always nods, acknowledging that they have that experience.  Some even make comments about the meetings they were just in, earlier in the day.  “You should see our meetings: they would kill you.”

I then ask whether they have had the opposite experience of a group or place that makes them feel great.  Where they are stronger and more energized because they are with the group.  After being with these people, they want to spend even more time with them.  They shake theirs heads excitedly, remembering such an experience in the recent past.

In a few groups, usually people working in large organizations, I have asked what percentage of the day they spend in the fatiguing experience.  For many the answers are up in the 70-80% of the time.  Ouch.  I then point out that I have established, from their own experience, that they know when they feel awful in a group and when they feel great.  They confirm this.  I have also shown that they have both experiences on a rather frequent basis.  So, then I ask the seemingly obvious, “Do you have a preference for one over the other?”  Most people chuckle at this, nodding their head and saying, “Of course.”  To be a little naughty, provocative, as well as to make sure, I suggest that the obvious preference is for the fatiguing experience.  “Right?”  This elicits another funny look with an immediate smile and response of, “No.  I prefer the energizing experience.  It has a better vibe.”  While this seems obvious, afterwards, I have made some clear distinctions in their preference for energizing groups.

Now I want to delve into the differences between the fatiguing and energizing groups by describing the experience more specifically.  In these conversations, people describe the fatiguing experience as exhausting, draining of energy, painful, and it requires people to work really hard to get anything done.  Participation in this group feels frustrating, with people just doing what they are told to do, without little creativity, even though they are trying.  They even share that they are often not sure what they contribute to the group.  Even more, they are not sure what anybody contributes to the group.  When I ask about the energizing group, people describe it as enlivening.  They have more energy afterwards than when they started.  Anything seems possible in the group.  They have lots of creative ideas.  Everyone in the group does, building off of each other, usually ending up in places they would never have seen before.  It is really cool.  Many people say that in this group they experience abundance all over the place.  This leads me to ask, “If this is an experience of abundance, what is the other experience?”  Most people respond, “Scarcity.  Nothing.  It is very hard.  There is a much lower vibrancy to the group.”

This is fascinating.  The awful place is an experience of scarcity and the great place is an experience of abundance.  And, now, we are getting to a critical insight.  I ask, “If you could live more in the abundant world, would you?,” to which the response has always been, “Yes.”  I counter with, “Then why don’t you?”  This starts us on a new path.  When people then respond that it is hard to live in greater abundance in most groups, I suggest that maybe it is and maybe it is not.  To tease out whether or not it is, we need to understand a little more about the differences in the two experiences.

My request to you

Please reply in these pages to share your own experiences, thoughts on what I share, or questions that arise.  I invite you as a citizen scientist to participate in the naming of the emerging field, which I refer to as ecosynomics, and in realizing the higher harmonic vibrancy available to all of us.