Helping leaders lead – storytelling, sociodrama and passion for change

Jos (1)Sociodrama helps us to learn about and re-shape our collective stories, giving insight into how we as individuals can flourish and thrive within the social and organisational systems we inhabit.

Val Monti and Mark Farrell (both very experienced sociodramatists and theatre-based practitioners) have recently joined me in my work with Passion Inc, an East-Midlands employee engagement agency who supports corporate businesses to help people who work there to ‘get’ plans for the future, and see how they can positively contribute to change. This need to recruit more sociodramatists is happy evidence that the approach is being well received by our clients, to the extent that we need to start to look at growth and expansion.

So, to wind back….Passion’s founder, Kirsty Dean, and myself have been working together over the last year to develop a range of workshops which help leaders tell their business ‘vision story’ (their strategic narrative) and develop clear explanations of the services they offer to customers (their value proposition). Sociodramatic action methods are at the heart of all our workshops, and one of the most interesting aspects of this work for me has been the emerging process of collaboration between Kirsty, an expert in people engagement, and myself as a sociodramatic facilitator.

There’s been lots for both of us to learn from each other. I’ve shared with Kirsty over time reflections about the power of warm-up, the importance of opening to resistance in the room, the need for somatic presence, the power of the imagination to unlock unconscious solutions, and of course much more. She in her turn has shown me how big businesses operate, their concerns and challenges around people engagement and collaboration, and how to raise awareness and plan for cultural change on a big scale level. It’s been fascinating for us both.

Having done a lot to help a range of clients with their messaging, we’re now starting to support groups of leaders to make powerful shifts in how they show up at work on a personal level, creating human-friendly environments for the people they work with to operate in really effectively.

We had already run several storytelling skills sessions for senior leaders at a large car manufacturer, when we were asked to develop a ‘day 2’, helping emerging senior leaders develop a positive leadership role set in response to challenging systemic drivers. This gave us a chance to try out some full spontaneous sociodrama alongside a sequence of role naming and role development work.

As ever, the power of the method to open up long-locked collective and personal stasis and release energy, insight and inspiration is a moving and highly affirming experience for all of us in the room.

© Jos Razzell 2017

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