Group Rapport – Shovel It Up and Filter It Out

When I first started out in the persuasion business I would have huge anxiety for about a week before a big seminar. I was impossible to be around. My family would sequester themselves and avoid me. Even my dog steered clear of my office somehow intuitively knowing I was in no mood to play. Not only was the gear up for these events intense and chaotic, but the let down after, not because the event was not successful, but because the energy I spent and absorbed and that worked its way though me, was immense.

As I became more comfortable with public speaking and more assured of my affect with students, I became aware of techniques that I could use to get my students/audience to become more connected and cohesive right from the start.

One that I use very regularly will help you form a group bond and a group rapport. I imagine a shovel, a big snow shovel, a great big wide thing, as wide as the audience, and it sits in the back of the room. The shovel starts just over the top of the heads of my audience and then it curves back around.

What I imagine that I am drawing energy through my feet, and I project it out of my eyes, so it goes like a blanket, over the top of everyone’s head, all the way back to the snow shovel.

The snow shovel catches this blanket of energy, and whips it around and just as it is coming to my feet, it hits a box that is sitting right down in front of me. The box is a filter.

I’m bringing in everybody’s energy, and this filter eliminates the negativity. I never want to take on all that myself, unfiltered. So I see the energy come back, and as see it coming to the box. As it hit the box, it becomes completely clear.

Then energy then comes right up through my feet and out through my eyes to the back of the room where the shovel is, and back up. That’s how it starts.

At first it goes kind of slow, and then a little faster, and then pretty soon, it goes faster, and faster, and faster, and faster, and faster, until I can simply step aside, and watch the energy

This energy has a life of its own. As I give presentations I let this go the whole time.

When I do trainings of 250, 300 people or more, it bonds the group like nothing I have ever seen.

Could this bonding be the language I use? Could it be the suggestions I make? Could it be that we’re all working together and having fun? Yes. Absolutely. It could be all those things. But I think this adds dramatically to what I do.

When you’re working with a big group, consider this to be another construct you can use.