The excitement of a new thing always fades out over time, be it a material object, a relationship or a new job. Even working on similar projects with the same colleagues in the same space can get monotonous over time. To keep your interest active, a new workshop seeks to tackle that boredom with simple steps.
Curated especially for working professionals, tackling emotional intelligence through storytelling is a two-day workshop and is based on Daniel Goleman's model of Emotional Intelligence and Carl Jung's philosophies of mythology. Hosted by storyteller and psychologist Priyanka Patel, it was her friends who sparked the idea of such a workshop. “A lot of my friends were saying that it’s frustrating to be at work. It gets really difficult to manage emotions, your bosses are usually demanding a lot of things, and work hours are crazy. And because I was working with emotional intelligence, they suggested I should get some training. And that’s how it started,” says Priyanka, who has hosted multiple such workshops since December last year.
The event is neither a generic pep talk, not is it full of psychological jargons. Instead, Priyanka will use stories from mythology, folk tales and Sufi stories to help participants understand themselves better. “We’ve been listening to these stories all our lives. Traditionally the stories were created so that wisdom was passed on, but we have obviously lost that entire purpose: For us, Diwali has become just another festival, while it was actually a lesson about the power of good over evil,” explains Priyanka.
She referred to Carl Jung’s teachings, and found that he talks a lot about how mythology impacts society — how we think, what we believe in, what are our values are defined. And so, connecting the two came naturally to her. “I use these mythological stories to give you the message of what should be our approach to goal setting and how can you learn to listen to your gut instinct rather than getting influenced by what is around you,” she adds.
While day one of the workshop is all about self awareness and teamwork, day two is about re-writing personal narratives. Priyanka tries to make the process more fun by using theatre, games, art and role-play. She explains with an example, “When you’re exploring who in your life is your support system, you draw it out because colours and art have a strong emotional impact. If I tell you to write, you’ll use your left brain and be very structured, but when I ask you to use colours and games then you’ll start using your creative side, and that is where your emotional growth lies. Your emotional aspect is what comes through colours, through all these physical games where you move around and learn the art of mindfulness. Which is why these activities are used: To open up your emotional side as against your logical side.”
For people struggling at work, it’s not about pin pointing their weaknesses, but finding a way to work around it. “Many have said that even if they are aware of some of the aspects of themselves, they have never learned to apply it in daily living. Even if you know these are your weaknesses, you don’t know what to do with it, and this workshop has helped them fine-tune that area. It helps you understand how to move on and how to use your strengths,” says Priyanka.
Speaking about the booming response that her programme has received, Priyanka says that she has also developed a good relationship with the previous participants. “They sometimes reach out to me if they feel stuck somewhere, and I give them activities to work on,” she concludes with a smile.
The workshop will take place at Yiamas - The Experimental Space, located in Fort, on June 22 and 23.