Creative Outreach Conference: Collaboration and Confidence Workshop
The Sisters - 639 S College
It’s common business practice to bring experts and influencers on board when forming a workforce. But even the smartest individuals can’t outperform the net effect of a passionate, dedicated team with shared vision.
Teamwork and true collaboration can be catalyzed, and for a team to work at its highest level, these concepts must be reinforced. More than merely understanding the intricacies and precision that any job requires, recognizing that everyone in the team plays a crucial role is key to any team’s ultimate success.
Eric Melin’s Air Guitar Collaboration & Confidence Workshop starts with John Cleese’s definition of creativity (“a willingness to play”) and combines it with elements of improvisation and risk-taking to bring any team to vivid life and leave them with an absurd feeling of accomplishment—and a great story to tell.
The workshop unfolds on an even (and quite imaginary) playing field, giving each participant equal confidence to co-create a 1-minute World Air Guitar competition routine together. In a group setting, with advice and encouragement from world champion Eric “Mean” Melin, the team uses critical listening skills, imagination, and creativity to dissect a short piece of music and translate it into choreographed movement.
Although understanding the strategy behind a championship-winning air guitar routine is an absurdly specific thing, the concepts tackled in the workshop are broad enough to resonate with any team and reinforce the idea that the group is stronger than the individual. It also introduces the improv-centric concept of saying “yes, and” to suggestions—and discourages the kind of snap judgments that can kill true collaboration.
The essential bonding that creates instant trust and camaraderie among the group comes from the workshop’s last-minute twist. At the completion of the choreography, the group is informed that it will be performing the 1-minute routine together, in a nearby public area, as a flash mob. The novelty of the situation, combined with the feeling of confidence and safety that comes from doing it in a group, creates a unique bonding experience (not to mention, a flurry of onlookers pulling out mobile phone cameras).
A recent Cambridge study illustrated that playing air guitar is highly beneficial to the creative mind. It frees up actual musicians to think beyond the limitations of the instrument, and it improves creativity. This workshop leaves a team with a one-of-a-kind bonding experience— confident, refreshed, and excited—and ready to operate at the highest level.
Eric Melin is an Air Guitar World Champion and TEDx speaker who espouses the creative virtues and fire-in-the-belly inspiration that can be derived from air guitar. With nine years of professional social media experience, he’s also an award-winning business communicator and the Senior Social Media Community Manager at ad agency Callahan Creek. For two years, Eric was social media chair for AAF-KC, and is currently President of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle. Perhaps he is best known as the 2013 World Air Guitar Champion, and a tireless ambassador for the sport of competitive air guitar—and its dream of achieving world peace.