“Did you know that 90% of our communication is nonverbal? And that most of our movement patterns remain unchanged through our adult lives?”
Individual cognitive processing does not take place in the hidden recesses of our minds. It takes place in the movement of our bodies, our limbs, our facial expressions, the movement of our eyes. What we ‘think’–how we think–is reflected in the movement patterns that accompany our words, and also our silences. Movement Patterns both reflect and carry our unique approach to engaging with others and with our environments.
MPA as a framework for identifying movement patterns that reflect innate decision-making and cognitive processing, was developed by Warren Lamb, who studied with and worked alongside Laban in factory observation and training as the first business consultants in Britain in the 1950s.
An MPA practitioner works within a systematic framework of coding, analyzing, and interpreting movement behavior, as it relates to engaging in processes of decision-making. The Movement Pattern Analyst records whole-body, integrated movement phrases that take place during a two-hour verbal interview. Individual movement patterns are then correlated within areas defined as intrinsic components of ‘taking action’ or the initiative to engage in particular aspects of forming decisions. Each individual’s movement patterning results in a unique, individual profile of innate decision-making initiative and engagement, and individual interactive preferences.
WORKING IN TEAMS – INTERACTIVE STYLES
Management teams or partnerships are assessed in light of all contributions by each individual to the overall patterning of the team. Any single team is made up explicitly by what individuals contribute and how their contributions interweave, support, and combine together. Areas of strengths and weaknesses are described for the team as a whole, as well as identification of individual’s contributions to the team or partnership’s unique makeup.
Styles of nonverbal interaction appear in communication, in building intention, and in striving for results for any individual, team or partnership. Potential for particular nonverbal communication in interaction appears in patterns of movement possibility in each individual’s movement patterns. These potential patterns give significant indications of what is likely to take place between and among specific individuals in the environment—shaping how we move in and out of interactions with those we come into contact with. While our individual initiative in areas of decision-making is innate and essentially unchanging over time, our interactive patterns can be improved upon by highlighting individual needs, as well as by creating formal structures to compensate for areas where these needs are not met. Missing channels of interaction around a group of individuals will impact the working environment for each of its members. This environment may in some collaborations enhance the sense of purpose and function, and in other collaborations, missing channels will inhibit the ability to achieve what is desired or to work well in relationship. Channels of interaction that are available to the individual, group, or partnership will function as specific strengths and will tend to dictate where collective energy is spent.
THE MPA FRAMEWORK
Awareness of Movement Patterning makes individual and collective strengths more visible and accessible, provides information on weaker areas, and makes conscious, the individual potential for creating bridges in interaction. Combinations of individual engagement can be understood and utilized more successfully; and unconscious, nonverbal signals of interaction can become areas of strength and fluidity.
Movement Patterning provides a framework of decision-making based on Attending, Intending, and Committing, which prescribes the importance of each area involved in forming what we experience as fulfilling and successful decisions. The framework outlines areas that come into play in any initiative for action or decision, and establishes areas within which each individual contributes to singular and group function and expression. Individual areas which have been overlooked can be encouraged and allowed to grow further, and weaker areas can be fortified through creating tactical structures for communicating, gaining information, and gathering momentum. Movement Patterning offers new opportunities for improved strategies in collaboration and successful interaction, while providing tools for enhancing decision-making overall.
Our goal as an analytic practice is to help individuals, businesses and other partnerships build greater cohesion through individual recognition, while furthering interactive understanding and, ultimately, more fulfilling human cooperation.
SAMPLE AREAS OF APPLICATION
(available through seminars, private sessions, and workshops)
- Building nonverbal rapport with others
- Discovering individual signatures in movement patterning
- Enhancing nonverbal communication in partnerships and groups
- Enhancing nonverbal communication with equines and other animals