Echoing is an auditory form of mirroring where we hear someone use our vocabularly or keywords to find affinity in thoughts. Circus Tent seeks to exercise repetition and working key phrases into our dialogue.
Level of Difficulty:
First lets talk about how we can play this in a casual, zero-risk environment. On small scraps of paper, everyone should write 1-2 word statements. Please make sure these are safe for work and anything will do. Some possible words could be pizza, puppies, ghostbusters, and startbiflast. The words don’t have to be real. Each word or phrase goes on one sheet of paper and is folded in half.
For groups playing imrpovised scenes, toss the paper around the room and start a simple scene – the premise doesn’t matter. As you work through the space, pick up a sheet of paper and read it in real time. Whatever word is on the paper needs to be worked into your next line of dialogue.
For instance in a scene about a new puppy, one character may stumble across a sheet of paper and say “I can’t stand how the puppy is named startbiflast!”
For groups playing more casually, divide the papers by the number of people in the room and simply aim to work each word into conversation naturally.
Often times in workshops and meetings, someone may say something of interest and a colleague will write those keywords on the whiteboard. These are your conversation anchors. Identify what is important about them, and think about how you can expand on those ideas.
Throughout the conversation, you can anchor back to those keywords, expressing active listening and engagement with your stakeholders.
Slack, or whatever your team’s messaging tool, is a powerful ally for Circus Tent. When in meetings, if a client or stakeholder says something interesting, it is common for colleagues to back-channel key words or ideas. The goal is to keep the prompts brief so that whoever is facilitating, or has focus, can scan a keyword and work it into conversation in a natural and encouraging manner.
We talk a lot about mirroring with Peas in a Pod and how emotions build and can escalate. How does mirroring ones dialogue build trust and confidence?