“Empathy is a tool.” Alan Alda
Have you ever felt unseen by a speaker or meeting leader? They might look right over you, or speak from inside their own bubble, almost as if they were alone. Perhaps they are nervous, or narcissistic, or shy. Whatever their reason, these speakers and facilitators aren’t using the secret power of scanning.
What is Scanning?
Albert Einstein call it “field awareness”. Korean speakers call it “nunchi”, some call it emotional intelligence. Scanning is the ability to speed-read a situation. It is the ability to use our eyes, ears, and a quiet mind to experience a group’s energy, and then to use this awareness in our responses.
Why is Scanning Valuable?
Scanning enables presenters and facilitators to get out of our own heads (which might be humming with anxiety) and to step into a larger reality. Counter intuitively, doing so is one of the best ways to combat performance anxiety. Our nervousness diminishes as we feel connected to a larger whole. It’s not all about us!
“Instinct…transcends knowledge.” Nikola Tesla
The intel we gather from scanning is ours to use. If we pick up fear, we know that people are fearful. Same goes for anger, or any other emotion. We can use this information to ensure our behaviors are responsive.
What if We Pick Up Negativity or Resistance?
Number one, it’s good to know what we’re dealing with. Secondly, negativity is a strength test, not an evaluation of you. It probably has nothing to do with you, although it may pertain to your topic. Don’t succumb; just acknowledge it presence. Never allow a room’s negative energy to hijack you.
What Do I Do Once I Scan?
Scanning doesn’t require that you verbally respond to what you pick up. Simply open your chest and feel the information that speaks as loudly as words. Because energy changes continually, our challenge is to maintain this awareness throughout the session.
When we operate from the awareness that scanning provides, we honor the group’s energy. Our responsiveness is the secret to greatness as presenters and facilitators.
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” Benjamin Spock