patterns

How to Move Beyond Old Patterns in Conversation

Have you ever noticed patterns of communication in groups you spend time with?

Are there certain people you feel like you have really productive and enjoyable conversations with? How about the other end of the spectrum; you know when you get into a discussion with a particular group of people that it will inevitably be frustrating or murky?

During Kelvy Bird’s Visual Practice Workshop earlier this year, she shared a model called the Four Players in Conversation, developed by David Kantor. The premise is that in every conversation, people play one of four roles:

Move: to initiate, set direction

Follow: to support and complete an initiative

Oppose: to challenge and correct

Bystand: to witness and offer perspective

Which Player do you tend to embody? What kinds of questions or statements are you making? How is that affecting the group and conversation?

Personally, I tend to gravitate away from the role of the Opposer, but during the workshop someone offered a perspective that fundamentally shifted my negative association with it. They clarified that to Oppose does not necessarily mean to be aggressive or contrary, rather it creates a space for questions and critical thinking if approached in a compassionate way.

As a graphic recorder, this lens is an area I’m stretching myself to leverage more to better support the groups I’m working with. How can what I capture solidify or open the conversation to serve the group and their goals? Which Players are being heard, and which are absent? What does this mean for the group? For the graphic?

conversketch-four-players-in-conversation-graphic-facilitation

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Want to see your group's patterns? Let’s put the science of conversation into action for your organization.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

 

In the Studio:  Last week I wrapped up the third Drawing Connections video for the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program. This video will take you through the seasons at Yosemite National Park! Click here to see the  Fort Laramie  video, and here for  Cabrillo .

In the Studio: Last week I wrapped up the third Drawing Connections video for the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program. This video will take you through the seasons at Yosemite National Park! Click here to see the Fort Laramie video, and here for Cabrillo.

Colorado State University:  Helping researchers working with gene editing think strategically about research priorities and partnerships.  

Colorado State University: Helping researchers working with gene editing think strategically about research priorities and partnerships.  

Hey! It's Time to Recognize!

Sometimes the world takes you by surprise.

Sometimes you think doing something you enjoy is just a hobby, and you like what you’re doing. But surely no one else would pay for it. (More on this little mind quirk coming in June).

There are moments in life when, if we are paying attention, we take a step back and recognize a pattern that keeps emerging. These patterns can be obvious or subtle. Either way, they can be difficult to recognize unless we are open to seeing them.

Heady, Karina. Give me something concrete here. Okay....

I have always loved art, and in fact picked up my first watercolor brush for a botanical study when I was about 7. Art classes were my favorite in school, and I even pursued an art major at CSU for a few semesters before dropping it for environmental communication.

You might be thinking, Right, but you’re an artist.

Too right! But until very recently -- we’re talking 2015 here -- I had this bizarre aversion to considering myself an artist.

Why?

I didn’t want to be a “starving artist” or to get stressed out about something I enjoyed doing if it was my career. And deep down, I didn’t think I could really be talented enough to sell my work as Fine Art. Sure, I had a knack for graphic recording, but that wasn’t Art, it was real-time-visual-distillation-and-synthesis-with-doodles that became my full-time job. Sure, people enjoyed little cards I made them and kept them on their fridges for a while (looking at you, Mike & Shayna). But that was just fun, something I did to keep myself on my toes and show my friends and family I care about them.

I am making a living creating graphic recording charts, which is still amazing to me, and when I shared a few little watercolor paintings I was playing with online, the resounding enthusiasm from viewers (like you) blew me away. To most people, this would be considered being an artist.

And now, finally after many months, years even, I’m opening up and allowing myself to think of me as an Artist. It’s been hugely fun, satisfying and I get to share my light, what I love doing, with others.

Cool, Karina. But what am I supposed to do here? Aren’t you just lucky you get to frolic with a kitten and do art?

There’s an element of luck here, for sure. Being born into a society where I can expect a solid education, and where I have rights and opportunities is really lucky. I also work hard. And I know what I’m doing is making a positive difference in peoples’ lives around me, which motivates that hard work.

So, what can YOU do? Probably a whole heck of a lot of things, and I’d most likely benefit from learning from you. But what I can offer at this wee point in time is this wee thought:

Take a moment to step back. Are there patterns you haven’t let yourself see because you thought they were impossible? Crazy? Impractical? Now, what would happen if you took a step toward that pattern? What would happen if you said “Yes” to whatever keeps tugging at you? Or what if you actually COULD do what you love and be successful with it? Tap into your intuition and let yourself FEEL what’s there.

This isn’t purely for self-interest, although enjoying your work is nice. Knowing your value, what you contribute, and how that fits in with your organization helps teams function more effectively, encourages collaboration and creativity, and boosts productivity.

Click on the image below to see the larger version.

We each have gifts to share with the world. It’s only by letting ourselves be open to giving them can we truly feel fulfilled and make a rockin’ contribution to the world.

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, I'd be so grateful if you shared it with your friends!

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

 
Cheers, Karina



Need someone to help you recognize the patterns in your life, then teach you to draw them out? ConverSketch now proudly offers Creative Visual Coaching to help you get your thoughts on paper, and equip you with skills to take action in the future.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

Researchers at Colorado State University have partnered with Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins to reintroduce genetically pure and disease-free bison to Soapstone Prairie and Red Mountain Open Space in Colorado. This is the story of how the collaboration came to be and what made it a success.

Three Ways I Use Patterns in My Life and My Business

Good morning! 

First things first, my newest explainer video for the Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting Program at Colorado State University is out! Think that's a mouthful and not sure what it means? Give me three minutes and I'll show you in the whiteboard video itself!

I have been thinking about patterns lately -- from seasonal changes to examining my thoughts more closely to attempting to learn from the freaking amazing art created by Jeremy Collins.

These things all embody the strength of patterns, so this week I want to share how noticing and utilizing patterns can impact your life and business too.

1. Patterns in my business help me understand what's working and what's not. Businesses of any size test different ideas, experiment with communication strategies and services -- that's what innovation in business is all about. But experimenting without noticing or monitoring the results can lead to confusion or a waste of energy or resources. TOOLS?

2. Patterns in my life show me what I'm focusing on. I've found when something keeps coming up in my life, whether I am enjoying it or not, it is a reflection of where I am putting my mental energy. I like taking a few minutes to journal, sketch out things that keep coming up, or just breathe to recognize them and either keep doing what I'm doing, or re-direct my energy and thoughts toward something more positive.

3. Patterns in my drawings make them look more interesting and fun. Even very simple lines or dots can spice things up, add depth, or draw the eye to an important idea or image without filling the entire page with ink. The wonderful Kelvy Bird is a graphic recorder I admire for many reasons, one small one being her beautiful use of patterns, and one of the students in a class I worked with at CSU this week blew me away with her beautiful patterns in a tree trunk!

Now this week's drawing tip:

See how you can use patterns to make images or ideas stand out! I like using uneven spheres and swirling lines, or repeating a shape with a slight difference each time to show movement.

When I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate patterns, the natural world never disappoints. Here's another post where you can read about how looking to nature has fueled my drawing inspiration.
 

Hint: click on the image below to see the larger version

Have you ever noticed a pattern in your life and been able to change it or support it for success? What was your first step? Have you been doodling and want to share? Have a request for a ConverSketch to help you explain or process an idea? 

Upload your Sketch or story in the comments section below to share your unique style and inspire the community! 

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, share this with friends who could enjoy tuning into patterns in their life.

Thanks for tuning in! Keep doodling and making your authentic mark on this world!

Cheers, Karina



Is your team having trouble seeing the larger patterns in your business or organization? Call me to talk about how graphic recording can help your group see their patterns, systems and create a plan of action to make change!

Boulder County faced and rose above some of the most intense environmental disasters in it's history over the past 4 years. This passionate, diverse and action-oriented group of community leaders met to discuss building a culture of resilience, and I got to graphic record it!