“My clients are a true gift to me. We mutually empower one another as we all share our varied fields of knowledge and expertise.” ~Eric Stone
Every day of our lives, we embody roles, either willingly or reluctantly, with great joy or great pain, and with great skill or very badly: husband, wife, brother, sister, grandmother, employee, head of department, neighbor, waiter, business owner, TV host, president, presenter, corporate communication consultant, VP, salesman, manager, lover, mistress, client, customer, only child, the list goes on. To change a person change the role they play. What we experience is intimately connected to the roles we play. The trick is to always know the role you play and make sure you not only play it well but also love it. Focus is an outcome of role-playing. Show me your focus and I'll tell you who you are.
Often, we are forced into roles we don't particularly like to play: IRS audit victim, jury participant, witness, falsely accused, victim, etc., are common examples. Public speaking is obviously a role someone plays. One of the great reasons we don't like to "play public speaker" is because we are reticent in exposing ourselves and being the center of attention for such long periods of time. It's nerve racking to the degree that we have not accepted nor understood the role very well. This is where I come in as a coach and a trainer: to shed light on the role a speaker has to play. Without the role, the experience is a very uncomfortable ride at best!
A role is a focus and we become what we focus on. We are always acting based on the roles we understand we play and our perceptions of the world around us based on those roles. The "world" is a perfect reflection of what we believe it to be internally through the roles we play. A boss of a company who is shy internally is more visible to others through the role of the "shy individual" than the boss of the company. The reverse is true of an employee who is bossy and does not know it. We have primary roles and secondary roles as well as emotional roles and public roles, etc. I'd like to bring to your attention that we believe the roles people play much more than we believe who people really are. The roles are in our faces!
Every role we play is actually a focus and the world's appearance is a function of our focuses. If you are a devoted father or mother, everything that concerns parenting and your children is being absorbed through that focus or filter. A professional thief does the same thing: all information about the person they plan to rob is being assimilated through the role or focus of the mind of the thief.
What roles are you playing lately or what are you focused on lately: At work? Socially? Personally? In your close relationships or friendships? The unspoken focus or subtext of our role-playing attitudes speaks volumes. Mostly they are taken for granted or ignored. Often, others read the subtext and react to us based on these behavioral subtleties. Why? We cannot betray what we are focused on and more to the point, the allegiance to the roles we play. It does not take a genius to figure it out.
We do not have any access to ourselves outside of the roles we play. For instance, when a relationship goes south we do not really leave the relationship or the partner, we leave the role we played in that relationship and learned to detest so much. Role-playing is the quintessential core of who we are; it is the air we breathe when it comes to being and acting in the world.
Most people are not very well equipped with role-playing skills to help them thrive and survive. A recovered alcoholic is a role so is a drunk. In my practice, I refer to it as the Actor Metaphor. Role-playing is the way we learn.
Deeper than the content of our lives is the archetypical constructs, which host the content of our lives, it's role-playing! Where would we be without our role models? We don't call them that for nothing. We emulate roles that have had an impact on us and roles that we have observed had an impact on others.
Continue training and educating yourself about perfecting the important roles in your life, and fire yourself from the ones that bring misery or chaos into your life. Divorce the roles that disempower you or the people around you! It's absolutely the right kind of divorce!
I follow and empower the purpose of the speaker at all levels. By focusing on the "public persona" rather than the "private" person, it becomes overwhelmingly clear what aspects of public speaking and performance to focus on.
Public speaking relies on very simple yet wonderfully telling "dynamics" between the speaker and his or her audience. This is the true competitive edge of this style of coaching which targets organic and authentic body language not outdated frozen gestures or postures. ~Eric Stone