Finding your Authentic Voice Training with Amanda Gifford

Amanda Gifford designs and runs courses using a mix of techniques including Circles, Authentic Relating Games, Image Theatre, Personal Story telling or Self Revelatory theatre, Dance, Voice Coaching, Relaxation, Breathing, Mudra Theatre game for eye contact and presence and her unique brand of coaching through creativity to help you find your Voice. The feedback ” Amanda is amazing!” , April 2016

Reflections on Drama Therapy in Corporate Trainings by Amanda Gifford Edit article Published on August 18, 2016

This was written in reflection on the use of Drama Therapy in Corporate Settings for a Masters in Drama Therapy student at WITS. “I have always incorporated drama therapy into my work at corporates but never called drama therapy i just use it within the workshop to facilitate experiential learning processes. So if i am running Personal Mastery or EQ or Communication or Conflict resolution or Stress Management for example then the games are great to help people to warm up to each other and get into their bodies, and keep things interactive.

I also tell clients all the time (especially at the Voice Clinic) that 80% communication is body language and so we must move our language to our bodies in order to enhance and deepen our communication so your communication is full bodied and coherent – when people are confident in their bodies they can communicate much more effectively – drama therapy assists in this.  We must do experiential processes because this grows our comfort with our body ( which is the seat of the subconscious mind – its the place that we carry our past but can also repogramme it and put in new experiences – like a garden) and once we are comfortable in our body – our communication effectiveness is enhanced.

I use a lot of Augusto Boal’s work in an Executive Coaching context helping clients to explore where they are at now, where they want to be and how to get there. This is my first session with most individual and group corporate situations and I adapt it to suite many different settings and themes…
This is one of the axis points around which I design most of my interventions. Once a person has explore these 3 things, then i design the next level of intervention around their transitional phase and what emerged as a step to get them to where they want to go.
This creates great buy in. I work around their needs… individual needs and desires and then I link it into their work. John Demartini talks alot of linking and aligning values. He does alot of coporate work internationally. The Quantum Collapse Method. He was in the movie The Secret.

What I have found is that once you get teams sharing where they are at, both personally and professionally, with eachother, this begins to create great rapport and understanding, it creates empathy and really enhances team work because everyone has a good understanding of what is really going on for the other person. It bonds people.

When people share and are vulnerable with eachother, they build good relationships and this makes a huge difference at work. It is a bit of a skill though to make sure that you don’t go too deep and too personal if the group is not comfortable with it.

I have used this method everywhere. With banks, insurance companies, business schools and its very effective.

When I have more in depth ( say 12 sessions) with a client and they agree to doing deeper work on themselves then I can bring in more drama therapy interventions. Its just they way you put it to people. Depending on how open people are you can call it interactive mind mapping or practicing communication skills.

I find there really is no resistance if its set up right and it matches whats needed and expected by the corporate and that results are delivered.
I bring in my own understanding into all workshops that I facilitate and use Drama Therapy to keep it embodied and real.
Drama Therapy ideas practices and principles are vast and can be easily applied in corporate settings. its all about packaging and then you use the drama therapy inside of the workshop to help people integrate or practice something.
People love the work that I do.
I have used Drama Therapy and Family Constellations in Innovation settings too.

I use games like mudra theatre from Authentic Relating In Power Speaking Courses which is a participant sitting in front of a group in silence just looking at the others… to practice eye contact with audience. It had a huge impact. I also use Self Revelatory theatre processes to help people explore their authentic voice. I tell people at the Voice Clinic that their inner voice emotions and wellbeing needs to be lined up with their outer voice. Once the inside is happier and focused then the outside comes more naturally. There is only so much that you can do on the outside if the inside of you is stressed and emotional. So I always link the inside work to the outside work and help people to explore their authentic voice through learning to tell their story and become more real.
This is always welcomed. I think people in corporates are craving it.

I ran a sales training course where I helped them to focus on themselves and then they became happier sales people. I always think that these people in corporates spend so much time focused on others and very little on themselves that once they can take care of themselves in a workshop- they can really free up a lot of energy to be there for other people in their work.
Its effective.!!!

When you give people space to focus on themselves and what they need, it can solve a lot of problems. It takes away their defenses. And I often say focus on what you can do something about and try and be light hearted and professional about the rest.

I use role reversal alot to help people develop empathy and insight. This helps with conflict and communication.

I don’t get people to ‘act things out’ like a psychodrama type setting it can alienate people – i use more of a kind of tapping in to what you feel in that role ( more Business Constellations type style)…it’s easier… more detached
I use Systemic Thinking from Family Systems Constellations thinking a lot in my work. This is a whole hour long conversation. Do you know about this idea of the morphogenetic field – Rupert Sheldrake?
My influences are around teaching people to explore their window of perception and how to externalise that, look at it, make changes and then re internalise.
These are thoughts off the top of my head.
Hope it makes sense.
Drama Therapy is really about embodiment and experiential learning.” Amanda Gifford.

TRAINING by Amanda Gifford Whats it about?

WHAT IS MY PRODUCT
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My product is a vast range of support, training and information about empowerment, creativity, change management and self mastery and how that can benefit sales and corporate teams and and I offer a range of skills that explore and apply that theme. I run individual therapy, coaching, workshops for individuals and groups from the Corporate sector as well as run a private practice in Johannesburg offering therapy to the public.

My Corporate training has a wide reach in the arena of confidence building, assertiveness training, personal mastery, emotional intelligence, innovation, thought leadership, conflict resolution, voice and public speaking training, stress management, business coaching around relationships, team building, creative facilitation, mindfulness and thought leadership.

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Corporate Clients come to me for an update in skills, to build awareness in areas of their own personal development, to work through stress, to manage their time and choices better at work, to set goals, to look at work life balance, to communicate more effectively, to find out what their areas of development are and begin working in that direction.

I work with individuals at all levels of business. CEO’s, CFO’s, sales, government, teams, tele sales consultants, secretaries, innovators, entrepreneurs, heads of departments, team leaders, all levels of people in business helping them to “Sharpen the Saw” as Stephen Covey calls it.

My process is simple. I help people to get clear on where they are at now, then where they want to be and then I help them explore different creative skills to help them get to where they want to be.

That process uses a combination of therapy, coaching, systemic constellations, personal mastery, emotional intelligence, communication skills, conflict resolution, visioning, creativity, time management, stress management, confidence building and other soft skills as needed.

My product is for the public and for corporates who want to take stock of their situation and start to empower themselves and upgrade their skills to get themselves to a more dynamic place both within their personal life and then in their teams or business settings.

My Methodology is a mix of creative skills taken from 20 years in the change industry, 15 years in the creative arts therapy, experiential facilitation and psychology realm facilitating individuals to remove blocks from their lives and find the key to move forward.

WHAT PROBLEMS DO PEOPLE HAVE?

There doesn’t seem to be one problem that my clients come in with. They could come to me because they are having a meltdown in their lives due to too many changes, or because they want to progress in their job but feel stuck and don’t know what to do to move forward. They need a place to reflect, get guidance, be supported in their changes and learn skills. They come to me because they want to be more professional in their lives, more confident, more creative, more present, more successful in their communications. They come to me because they want to build awareness, team support, need support to go to the next level of professionalism at work or to work on their confidence.
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SOME CLIENT CASES

I worked with the legal team at ABSA in 2016 on Stress management and found the problem to be one-upmanship, too much ego, trying to be superior ( more clever than anyone else), not supporting one another, underlying hurtful and unsupportive communication and doing this in the most sophisticated way that it was hard for anyone to hold them accountable.  Even though this is part of the nature of law, they couldn’t see how they were hurting eachother. They needed an intervention so that they could begin to identify group dynamics and be aware of the impact of this on their team and make changes to create a more conscious team with more supportive communication.  ( Too many sharks in one tank! If you know the DISC Communication Method). My method of working with self awareness and then sharing where you are at with the group, brought immediate compassion and support, allowing the team to witness eachothers difficulties and learn to be more vulnerable instead of think that you have to always know it all.

I worked with the CEO’s, CFO’s and heads of Marketing and the sales team of VISA in 2016 in a Effective and Dynamic Communications 2 day workshop and the problem was a lack of awareness in empathy and how to manage their stress and frustrations. They needed help to come down to the ground a bit as they work in a “fictional, cyber money realm” and were a bit like traders on the stock exchange on a manic phase. They were an extremely dynamic team who needed insight into how to make their team more dynamic and how to get their already effective sales techniques to the next level. Sometimes in working with ‘high flying teams’ when they all get to share where they are at and what is going on for them, the team comes away from focusing on clients needs and they start listening to each other, this can create a powerful bonding experience for the group. This bonding makes it easier for them to talk to each other and it dissolves hierarchies, and communication flows easier dissolving barriers to sales.

I have worked with Heads of Transformation at ABSA on working with polishing communication skills and insights into leadership style and how to move forward as a team leader with greater insight and motivation.

I have worked with CFO’s at FNB on their public speaking skills and learning to bring more of themselves into their talks. I focused my training on helping them tell their own story and use that and shape that into a motivational speech which became a tool for branding themselves and being more comfortable with transparent leadership and leading from example. This brings much more freedom, spontaneity, interest and life into someones communication.

I have worked with people in the Innovation Department at SAB who ran into complications and conflict in the workplace and needed a place to think about how to solve that and move forward.

I have worked with people who are starting out a business and have lost a big client and don’t have insight as to why.

I have worked with politicians who want to improve their speeches.

HOW DOES MY PRODUCT MEET THOSE NEEDS?

My technique with coaching public speakers is to help them connect to their own authentic voice and figure out how to bring that forward more. This increases their alignment from their inner voice to their outer voice instead of just polishing the outside and not looking at the cause of the problem.

I had a client who was high up in the political scene who was involved in a controversy that cased him a lot of trauma. As a result he was suffering from PTSD and couldn’t speak without massive stress at a book launch that was coming up for him with his new book.  He came to see me for Voice Coaching and Stress Management and I helped him uncover a deep seated belief that allowed him to let go of trying to prove himself and be right! He had a successful book launch.

Another client who every time she spoke in public she got extremely anxious. We worked on childhood issues around trying to please her strict father and her anxiety reduced itself and she made major steps in all areas of her life being able to set goals more clearly, leave work when she needed to, and managed her time without trying t please everybody all the time. She summarized her 12 sessions of Personal Empowerment with me as a “massive success”!

My work with groups

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I have a facilitated a number of dynamic and not so dynamic sales teams making the main focus on looking at themselves as a starter and where they can begin to explore the awareness of their own lives and where they need to apply self empowerment and self care practices which automatically moves them to become more available as sales people in the workplace. I have found that there is a direct correlation between someone getting the space to work n themselves and their personal life and their performance at work. Once issues that are in their inner circle are more resolved they directly apply the skills to the workplace and their confidence improves, their enthusiasm for life increases, the quality of their communication is radically improved and overall things start moving in a positive direction.

I help them to explore steps to improve their lives and them apply it to their workplace. Once the awareness process and the goal setting is in place, we work with time management, confidence building, quality of voice, stress management and other skills to shift them into a new place.

I have watched one client after the other in the years of my practice, quickly move towards where they want to be once they have gone through a 2 – 4 day training with me or a personal mastery oriented therapy for corporates coaching programme.

I have run many Power Speaking groups which focus on improving Public Speaking and the main problems I see is that individuals don’t do the inner work to take the heat of the stage. They feel scared when they stand up on stage because all of their unacknowledged fears or secrets feel like they are being amplified when they stand up in front of groups, so I find that the more I encourage people to have a safe space to tell their own stories on stage, the more resilient they become as public speakers because they are not so afraid to be seen or be real on stage anymore and they gain about 50% of their energy back just by starting to be honest and real and then their spontaneity and general energy as a communicator improves vastly. I encourage people to “be themselves” more and speak about their own experiences and use their own stories as a way in to their presentations. People need help to let go of the rigid formula and explore more of their own uniqueness as a value. I can do this because of my training in Drama Therapy which uses techniques from the theatre and being on stage to help people build confidence and explore their voice and expression.

THEMES

Improving Communication through Self Awareness

Improving Sales through Self Awareness and Personal Mastery

Aligning Inner Voice to Outer Voice

Freeing Up Inner Story which leads to changes in Outer world

Inside First

Your Unique Voice

Leaders who can tell their own story make more interesting speakers and leaders.

Unique Voice – Unique Leadership – Branding for Leaders

Developing Insight leads to Solutions

Sales Teams more dynamic with Personal Mastery/Self Care Time.

Great Leaders lead through their own story

Communication is more interesting when you connect with “I”

Take Control of Your Life

Space to Reflect

Change Your Inner System and your Outer System with benefit

Finding Your Power

Locating your Inner GPS

Looking through New Windows of Perception

Creative Facilitation Skills for facilitators and trainers

The power of the subconscious mind

Come and find your creative power.

For more details: email: theinnovationplayground@gmail.com or contact Amanda Gifford 078 499 6472

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