How Improv Techniques Can Help Your Business

Improv allows ideas and insights to bubble up through a positive structure that by it’s nature has a preference for seeking out solutions.

We’re not looking for funny, we’re looking for deeper insights, but if funny also happens then we will happily take that too.

Improv is an ideal way to find deeper insights with the collaboration of your team. The main tenet of improv is to accept the created world you are in through the idea of “yes and”. This means that you say yes to the premise offered to you and then build on that.

The beauty of this is that we can construct a seed idea by creating a setting and a subject. The subject might be “the plans for the launch of a new product that your business has developed”. We can bring in things from the real world, it is fine, this isn’t Inception. We can also create a setting that is out of the ordinary to see where that may lead.

This method is one of thousands of ways we can use improv to help new ideas and understanding to emerge. This might unearth things we didn’t know we knew. These could be areas we hadn’t thought about in a standard meeting or ideas that are so fresh that we have to try them.

But this is not the only impact that improv can have on your business or indeed your life.

What if everyone on your team listened more actively to one another?

The more Improv is practiced by your team the more they will retain the skills required and let them bleed into their day to day life. When working within Improv or even just when using Improv exercises active listening is a skill that is quickly learned as it is imperative to a coherent scene. When in an active listening state we are more likely to spend time really listening rather than waiting for our turn to speak as so often happens in conversation. This in turn promotes empathy as once we listen to understand deeply we are more aware of others having different ideas, emotions and opinions.

In essence what is occurring is a development of NVC or Non Violent Communication which is sometimes referred to as Collaborative Communication. This is an approach to communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg from the 1960s onwards. Improv aligns well with the intentions of NVC and specifically fits with the intention of “Caring equally for everyone’s needs”.

So to recap. Improv helps deeper insight, ideas and understanding to bubble up through our directed workshop. It may also help create a collaborative atmosphere in your team brought about by empathic and active listening.