Whenever we talk to our clients about applied improvisation, we see a big question mark being formed about their heads. Such a response is, of course, anticipated. Not everyone in the business world could possibly be savvy of every technique available out there.
So let’s go through the basics a little bit, and explain what it entails.
In the world of performing arts such as theater, music and dance, the idea of improvisation is strongly present. Artists who improvise possess a set of tools, skills, techniques, principles and mindsets that allow them to tackle the unexpected, handle failures, cooperate efficiently with others and live in the moment all in such a way that their choices appear seamless, premeditated and successful.
Applied improvisation takes all those elements and makes use of them in non-theatrical or performance settings. In most cases, this will refer to business environments.
This is not about telling jokes, showing off, or taking things light-heartedly. This is about learning experientially and effectively improving the final results.
So that is where we come in. Through applied improvisation, we train incredibly valuable business skills such as communication, collaboration, innovation, crisis-management, risk-evaluation, problem-solving, and leadership. We help you build a culture of growth and acceptance inside your business, while at the same time learning how to be more effective at what you do.
By participating in an applied improvisation workshop, you acquire those invaluable skills and you learn how to apply them in your daily lives. This is about creating a new mindset that will broaden your horizons.
There are many reasons why now would take an applied improv training course and each person will focus on their own benefits. But if we could focus on the most important ones, it would be the following:
#1. It’s fun!
“This is the most fun I have had at work in years” is a phrase we often hear from people that have participated in applied improvisation workshops.
For this kind of training it is crucial for participants to enjoy the process. To learn business skills like these effectively, you need to be having fun. Applied improv is the most entertaining business decision you will ever make.
#2. Learn through experience
Being told what works, or what’s right and wrong, isn’t effective. We believe in trying it out for yourself. Through applied improv training, you get to experience what you are trying to achieve.
#3. Practice what you learn
Theory tires the mind. We’ve all sat through many training sessions where we take notes and then study those notes.
Applied improv is about practicing what you learn. You can’t learn a new musical instrument simply via reading books about it. You have to try again and again. The same goes for any new business skill.
#4. Bonding and building trust.
People that go through improv training together tend to build a special kind of trust. It’s a “one of us” kind of thing. Participants learn what it’s like to trust each other. They jump through the same hoops together, they let go in front of each other, and they create a code that they can communicate with. Something like this creates unbreakable work relationships that take their productivity to the next level.
#5. It’s always in a safe environment
Failure is what usually holds us back from trying new things. We’re afraid of how we are going to look and what others will think of us. And because of that, many times we end up not even trying, to avoid the possibility of failure and embarrassment.
Applied improvisation instructors always make sure to create a safe environment where participants feel safe to freely play and walk in these new shoes. It is always a judgement-free space.
By now, you should have a much better understanding of what we are talking about when we refer to applied improvisation. So, at this point, all you need to do is try it out for yourself.