I am working on a business course in Cambridge to extend my work into this area. What I love about this course is the different emphasis on where the work comes from. Instead of jumping from one project to another and following the funding opportunities, I’m being advised to clearly define what I do (and love to do), determine who will gain value from it and then create a clear pathway to making it happen. This is refreshing and valuable information.
Monster puppets are great for expressing feelings and exploring behaviour because they look a little like us, but are far enough removed to feel safe and fun. We can project our feelings and thoughts onto a puppet such as this, but imagine we are playing and this keeps us light-hearted. I aim to focus on bringing these into businesses as value added mascots and personality type avatars. This has developed from other business courses I’ve run where the focus was conflict management and assertiveness training.
The more I use monster puppets to work with children and young people, the more I see evidence that exploring feelings and behaviours in a light-hearted manner is where the biggest growth and understanding happens. It is as if we learn about ourselves in spite of our ego and desire to control our thoughts. Our inner self is allowed to come forward through the medium of puppetry and this creates an honest, deep rooted response to situations and occurrences that may worry us and bring up fear. Keeping the energy light and playful, allows us to think outside the box and come up with solutions that will work for the individuals in the room. The fact that solutions may be different for each of us, is made safe by putting them onto the monster puppet and keeping a third party indifference. Of course we can then take the information on board in a more personal way when we leave the session.
For younger children, we often end the workshop by having a quiet 'sleep' with our monsters where we whisper in our puppet's ear what we found helpful today and our puppet can whisper back what it thinks will help us moving forward. This quiet, personal time with a puppet is where the reflection and transference can happen in a safe and non-judgemental way. I’m not sure I’ll get away with trying this in the business world, but I have a feeling we’ll observe people playing around with their creations and interacting with work colleagues in a different way. I can’t wait to see what happens.
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