Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Seeing the forest or seeing the trees, can you do both consciously?
It seems like a trite little phrase until you live it. Standing on stage working through material, watching and gauging audience response with mental analyses and adjustments whirling at thought speed it is the trees and not the forest you see. You look out and notice someone looking at their phone instead of watching. Why, you wonder. You see a few people join the crowd or leave. Why, you wonder. What can I change to draw more? I want to see their smiles, faces rapt at the stories or antics.
Then you have a moment where you talk to the proverbial tree. Then that one says they only came to catch Pokemon, they are in your audience inattentive and brazen about it. Not everyone comes to a show to be entertained. Not every audience member is there for the same reason. Some just want a place to sit, others may visit briefly to get a taste of multiple shows rather than just picking one.
When you look at the trees, it may help find areas to work on but it may also be setting you up for a bad head game. If you try to put a reason on another person's choice you may not pick wisely. You cannot assume someone is leaving your show or interaction because they are avoiding tipping or are not entertained. You may not be the right fit for them or they may just have wanted a sample- they may have a dozen reasons to leave that have nothing to do with you.
Look at the forest instead.  The crowd that stays or returns. Why? A friend of mine, Geoff Marsh, asks candidly of patrons. It is a hard set of questions: did you see my show, did you like my show, feedback on my show. Not fishing for compliments but open mindedly tuning in to be able to enhance his performance. He is a top notch entertainer because he sees the forest and the trees.
I am asking those questions now too. I am learning to step back out of my head trip of negative self defeating conjecture and into analysis and problem solving.
When I ask for feedback, I am asking so I can improve perspective and keep growing. Whatever your challenges and goals, are you taking time to see the forest and the trees?

What can you change in your perspective to move forward in the positive direction you seek to grow in?