Yes AND No – Saying BOTH at the same time

This Exercise can be used to help you understand how you often say one thing with your body and another thing with your words; one thing with your heart and another thing with your rational mind. You can also use this exercise to help you better understand what you really want and/or believe in.

Get together in groups of three: The Interviewer, the Client, and an Observer. The Observer is to act as the Interviewer’s colleague, and in particular is to note whether or not each question gets answered “correctly” by the Client. When a question does not get answered correctly, the Observer and or the Interviewer make suggestions for corrections.

Preparatory Stage

1. The Client carefully considers an aspiration that they have been feeling stuck about. Don’t pick something that you are totally stuck on, and at the same time please do not choose an aspiration that isn’t really all that important. Choose something that is rather important to you. The Client is to state their aspiration in a clear short sentence. “I want a better paying job.” Or “I want to get married.” Or … … . The Interviewer is to make sure that the sentence is short and concise. This is important. The Interviewer writes down the aspiration. 2. On a scale of one to ten, the Client rates how likely it is that s/he will achieve their goal. A score of 10 means s/he feels attaining the goal is 100% likely. A scale of 1 means the person feels like s/he almost certainly will not achieve the goal. For the sake of this exercise, please do not pick an aspiration that is an 8-10 to start out with. Better to pick something in the 3-7 range. 3. The Interview asks a series of questions that are meant to elicit info about potentially important elements of the Client’s life. The Interviewer should note and ask twelve basic questions. Each question is to have a “Yes” or “No” answer. The Interviewer writes down these answers in a simple format. Possible questions: “Is your name X?” “Are you a female?” “Are you married?” “Do you like your job?” “Do you have children?” “Is you favorite hobby golf?” “Is your favorite food fried grasshoppers?” “Are you a dentist?” 4. After asking the twelve questions, the Interviewer, along with the Observer divides the twelve questions into two groups of six questions each. At the bottom of each group of six questions the Interviewer adds a seventh question, which is repeated verbatim in both groups. The seventh question is: “Do you feel like you are likely to achieve your aspiration of … … …?”

Level One task:

5. The Client is SLOWLY asked the first group of six questions + one. The Client’s method of answering: The Client is to answer “truthfully” with their head, shaking “Yes” or “No”, while giving the opposite answer with their verbal “Yes” or “No”. So if I was being interviewed and I was asked, “Is your name Charlie?” I would shake my head “Yes”, as I verbally answer “No.” If I was asked if I was a woman, I would shake my head “No” while saying “Yes.” It is important, as much as possible, to shake the head and give the answer at the same time, OR lead a bit with your somatic answer.

Level Two task:

6. The Client is now SLOWLY asked the second set of six questions + one. This time the Client’s method of answering is the opposite of what was just done. The client is to answer “truthfully” with their words, and the opposite with the shaking of their head. So if I was being interviewed, “Is your name Charlie?” I would say “Yes” as I shook my head “No.” If I was asked if I was a woman, I would say “No” as I shook my head “Yes.” It is important, as much as possible, to shake the head and give the answer at the same time.

Level Three Task:

7. All three members sit and breathe for about three minutes. No talking, just sitting and breathing.

Level Four task:

8. The Client thinks about their aspiration again. And once again the Client rates how likely it is that s/he will accomplish their aspiration. Debrief:

  • Which task (words correct and body incorrect or vice versa) did the Client find hardest to do?
  • Which individual questions were most difficult to answer?
  • Did the Client’s feeling of how likely s/he was to achieve their aspiration change?
  • Did this kind of process create confusion for the Client?
  • Is the feeling the Client had doing this exercise at all like the feelings they have when they answer questions that they are uncertain about?
  • Would the Interviewer and or the Observer like to share anything about what they noticed and learned?

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