As a life and leadership coach, mentor, and trainer, I focus on helping my clients meet their desired goals all the while helping them with the “ontological.” That is, focusing on being fully human. It’s working on becoming more of a human “being” and less of a human “doing.” In my own journey toward becoming more human who is perfect, whole and complete, I have focused on spiritual and faith pursuits, on the physical by losing over 50 to 60 lbs., emotional through various and sundry therapies, and leadership and personal development through Landmark Worldwide and its “Curriculum for Living” and other advanced programs. Many years ago, I was certified in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), and Hypnosis (both directive and indirective) and many other personal interventions. These experiences have brought me to a huge inquiry into another completely different world of social dancing in the Latin variety. I had been exposed to other forms of dance, but I had a desire to jump into that world for a variety of reasons, which we will get to later.
This blog is a collection of mine and others’ observations from the social setting of the dance. Just like any other human endeavor, people are people. The same dynamics exist in these settings as in any other. Communication, miscommunication, breakdowns, and misconstrued intentions take place in this arena as in any other. Though the task and context are different from other social situations, the dynamics are the same. The opportunities to learn from this environment are enormous.
As we move along this journey, I will attempt to apply a variety of leadership, and psychological distinctions that can apply to anyone in leadership or follower roles regardless of the setting. The key here is to learn these distinctions so they are “trans-contextual,” this is applicable across a person’s life and work settings. I will share observations I’ve picked up and lessons I’ve learned and applied in the social dance and other contexts. I will also be sharing what people tell me about what they learn along the way.
The main and overarching distinction or “meta distinction” that I will be operating from is the “Golden Rule,” “treat others as you would want to be treated.” As we dig into this distinction, it is important to note that this also implies a principle of treating others as they want to be treated. I believe this is the basis for “servant leadership.” I will be discussing how this principle plays out in the social dance context.
Another meta distinction is the idea of “contribution and consumption,” or “giving and receiving.” In the dance, there is a continuum that at any time you are either contributing or consuming in the dance situation. These are polarities; two sides of the same coin. The reason I mention this distinction is for the awareness of when this is occurring and discovering the possibilities from this awareness. In the dance, each partner is either contributing something of value to their partner in the experience, or consuming in terms of just enjoying the moment, receiving the offer, and simply having fun and a great time. Even in contributing, one is having a good time in the experience.
With these two meta-distinctions, I will be looking at other distinctions that can be applied to all human endeavors. I will be referring to these throughout. Here’s just a sample of the things I will be focusing on:
• Leading and following,
• Getting out of your head,
• full self-expression,
• personal power,
• no worry of being wrong or looking stupid,
• not making others wrong,
• practicing self-love and self-care,
• developing connection with others,
• dancing in the moment,
• making and receiving offers,
• unconscious competence,
• Three levels listening,
• fun and play,
• being with the person (connection),
• showing love and concern,
• it’s how you show up,
• quantum physics in relation to others (meta connection),
• starting from nothing, and putting everything into it,
• breaking through the blocks that keep us small
• Being kind, respectful, courteous, and smile,
• being curious and noticing,
• admit you don’t know everything,
• take feedback, be willing to learn, continually grow and learn,
• trying to look good and trying not to look bad and how this gets in the way,
• making me and others wrong and how it shuts out possibilities,
• being fearful of people and what they might think and its consequences
• The more you focus on something, the more you will get it
These are just a few of the leader and follower principles and distinctions I’d like to discuss for consideration. I will be telling stories about my experiences in learning salsa and then my experiences in interacting in the social situations of the dance. All the experiences are true and from my perspective. Names and places will be fictitious for privacy but the situations are real, the good, the bad, and the ugly.