As women in any industry we are told to ‘show confidence’ or to ‘stand our ground' but no one ever tells us exactly what that means or how it should be done. That’s where Kate Sagovsky can help. She is a director with a specialism in movement using her expertise to help women discover better ways to negotiate space in their everyday and professional lives. In this one-day workshop she taught me and a group of seven other women specific techniques on how we can use what we already instinctively know to empower ourselves through clear non-verbal communication, without feeling like we are trying to be someone else.
To begin with we simply explored body awareness. We drew an outline of ourselves in our mind’s eye, taking note of any parts of our body we struggled to visualise. Each one of us had a different part that was ‘fuzzy’ in our minds. We discussed why we might block certain parts of ourselves from our awareness and how this affects our day-to-day body language. We explored integrating all parts of our body, and
experimented with how it felt to walk around the space with a new awareness of our whole self.
A core element of the workshop was exploring the idea of personal space, or ‘Kinesphere’ (a bubble of personal space around the body). We experimented with what happens if we alter this bubble, in both size and quality. We realized we already unconsciously knew what different versions of personal space felt like – for example, when we stood in close proximity and made our Kinesphere very close to the body with a defined boundary (as though covered in imaginary cling-film) everyone was reminded of being on the tube. Using a simple handshake, we realised how much of an effect different variations of Kinesphere can have on everyday interactions. If we made our Kinesphere about arms-length but permeable –ie. allowing others to pass through that personal space - it seemed to make us more approachable to the other person. For me, the knowledge that I have my own personal space, and that I can choose to allow people to enter it or not, helped me to feel safe and in control.
With all of the exercises in the workshop we talked about our individual natural tendencies, and examined why we thought we did one thing or another. We then got the chance to try the opposite and play with different options and possibilities, and work out how we might apply these choices to everyday life. In the final section of the workshop we explored where we naturally choose to sit in group settings, We found it interesting that each one of us had our own reason for choosing where we place ourselves in the room –we all knew exactly which chair we wanted and why! We were surprised by how easily we had the power to change our intentions and our relationship with the group simply by identifying our habits and allowing ourselves the possibility of making different choices.
The group discussed the many expectations of how women are expected to present themselves in society. Observations came up about how women sometimes end up trying to behave in a more ‘masculine’ way to empower themselves in leadership positions. What I liked about Kate’s workshop is that without being in any way negative towards men, she was helping us to find our power from within ourselves – not by imitating others or trying to conform to a ‘right’ way.
Kate is a great teacher. I really enjoyed the collaborative nature of the workshop and enjoyed listening to everyone’s input. We all agreed that having a whole day for the workshop worked perfectly because it gave us the time to approach each exercise in a few different ways. I know that this has definitely changed the way I present myself for the better and has given me a huge amount of confidence, especially when it comes to being the leader of a group.
What an enlightening day, I’m so looking forward to seeing more workshops from Kate at The Mono Box in future!
If you're interested in exploring like Rosie, NEGOTIATING SPACE with Kate Sagovsky is next programmed on Friday 18th October 2019 10-5pm at The Mono Box in Bermondsey. Book your place here: https://www.themonobox.co.uk/industry