Caning a chair involves weaving long strands of cane through holes and over and under other strands. It involves twisting turning and bending cane, lifting tools, cutting and poking. But if you ask a craftsman how to cane a chair you get a discussion of the six-way, traditional English method. Using hands and fingers has become so practiced that she is no longer aware of them. You will not get a discussion of the business or the social aspects of chair caning these are too abstract to be of interest to the craftsman.

In exactly the same way we have become unaware of our speech, our facial expression and our body language. We are no longer aware of the multiple signs, symbols and language systems that we use daily. When we learn a new language like texting or meet people who don’t speak English we become aware of it again.

The football world prompted me directly to think about how we communicate, live and work with one another. A present (AXA insurance) advertisement compares walking along a street and driving on the road. Inadvertently, it highlights dramatically how important language, communication and social conventions are for even the simplest of behaviours.

Through spiritual craftsmanship, I believe we can work together more effectively by re-examining and thinking about our forgotten micro-behaviours. George Fox would be profoundly shocked, but I suspect that we could all benefit from a course of body-language, mime and acting skills.

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