Maybe You Need a Larger Canvas

On Saturday night I went with some friends to see Michael Franti & Spearhead play at Pier Six in Baltimore. Before the concert one friend extolled Franti’s gifts and promised it would be an uplifting experience.  Really?  A concert?  I expect concerts to be good fun and entertaining but uplifting? Hmmm…

He was right.  Franti’s paints his blend of reggae, hip hop, world music on a larger canvas.  Throughout the show he brought people of all ages, shapes and sizes onto the stage to dance and play with him.  He danced and sang his way to the back reaches of the venue.  Each band member shared time in the spotlight and their wireless instruments enabled them to dance their ways into the crowds too.   They exuded such energy and joy I knew that they were having a blast playing for us.

Enrolled is the word that came to mind.  And explains the perceptible difference in my experience of the talented, energetic opening act and the fabulously engaging Franti and band.   It got me to thinking of how this could be translated into a work experience.  How can we enroll others in what we do?  How can we ‘go out into the audience’ and bring the experience we want others to have to them?

Some strategies based on what I saw from Franti:

– Engage: Understand the audience and meet them in your delivery

– Work on a larger canvas: Get rid of artificial boundaries

– Dance & Play: Build fun into the experience

And keep adding to the list to make the experience you deliver uniquely yours.

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