Art of the Float Roundtable

Dylan Calm from the Art of the Float podcast facilitated a round table discussion with the audience. Joining him were two fellow facilitators, Kim Hannan and Jeremy Jacob. As it picked up steam it felt like a town-hall meeting with microphones in many hands. The topic discussed most was the first float orientation. Shared were great perspectives and tips to improve orientations. The care the float industry applies to the orientation is unique and inspiring. Below is a sampling of what was expressed during this meeting of minds.

“I think the orientation is really important… to create the space and also to give them a roadmap through their experience without telling them what their experience is going to be but to make them feel comfortable, to make them feel in control of their float. That is different for each person.”

“We spend a good 15-20 minutes doing it. After doing 2000-3000 orientations at this point, I’m bored. We have shifted it to being more of a conversation than an orientation. Weve found that people tend to tune out when you are talking at them. Whereas if it’s more engaging, conversational… it makes it more interesting for you as a facilitator, it tends to provide more value for them.”

“The empowering of the floater, and also the empathy and sincere interest during that orientation makes a huge difference. Trust how your disposition matters. One logistical piece encourage people to use the neck-floaty… a few friends have said well they said you could use it but I didn’t want to. They felt like that would mean they are weak necked.”

“Sometimes the combination of [two things] the repetition of the orientation along with the frequency of the accessibility, can move us away from an understanding of how powerful the anticipation of that first float can be… each individual float has the potential to be the most powerful life changing experience in that person’s life.”

“I noticed I love everybody who comes in! I can’t help it.”

“I say the first thing I want you to do is to open the door just to feel the weight of it… One woman came in and said ‘The only thing I was scared of [was] I’d be locked in there and now I’m okay because I know I can’t be.’”

“We think people should not be told what to do or how to do it and we don’t care whether if people have a good float, we want them to have the float that is best for them.”

“We break the orientation into two separate chapters. We do the lobby orientation that talks about the academic side of floating; why we float, why it’s a practice, what is it doing… then we save the mechanical details for the room tour.”

“Assuming people don’t have expectations before they come in is already starting behind the court.”

“We have our canned orientation typed out and we send it to them and ask them to read over it... I can tell a difference when I am talking to them, it all clicks. To have it presented to them twice seems to make a really big difference.”

“There’s an intuitive factor that comes with this. When you individually meet these people it’s important to tap into what is it they are coming in to address.”

“You’re going through all these dry things [in an orientation] and they are just staring at this spaceship with water in it, so to get their attention back, humor is a great way.”

Food for thought. Experimentation can provide new insights into your float facilitation practice. I highly recommend checking out the full audio of this talk. There are some awesome moments we didn’t have space for here. Check out episode 130 of the Art of the Float podcast.

Rick Boling