To explore the balance between mirroring and parody.
Level of Difficulty:
Two people volunteer to be in a scene. Ask the rest of the group for a location that fits loosely in the space available (e.g. an elevator, a living room, a coffee shop). Also ask for an emotion from the following list: Glad, Mad, Sad, Afraid.
The two volunteers start a scene in that location, with the selected emotion. The goal is for the characters to emotionally Yes-And each other. This doesn’t mean they have to say Yes-And. Instead, if one person is scared of the lightning, then the other person is also scared of storms.
The goal is to find agreement in one another’s emotions. You don’t have to always heighten/escalate the feeling. But rather always seek for agreement.
We want to respect everyone we encounter in conversation – our colleagues, our stakeholders, our research participants. A common question around mirroring is “how do we ensure this is from a respectful place and not mocking?”
This is a good question to ask. We want to honor our conversation-partner’s own voice (both verbal voice and physical presence). By exploring heightened mirroring, how might we better understand the distinction between when we are empathizing with someone compared to imitating them?
How might a physical presence such as leaning forward be more appropriate to imitate than a physical tick such as bouncing one’s foot?