Full disclosure, I struggle sometimes with the one element of my work that I love the most: teaching improvisation.
The invite goes like this: “Come to my class on improvisation. Have some fun, learn communication tools, be better at communicating with others.”
The invite is followed by a look of horror on the person’s face.
As Alan Alda says, “We are not trying to turn people into comedians, but we are trying to teach them how to connect.”
And that is the key.
Earlier this Spring, I did a one hour session with a group of Pfizer project managers. They, like many others, weren’t sure what they were getting themselves into. They left saying: “In one hour I learned communication tools which I could take back to my team and apply the next day.”
But here is the thing. I have been conducting some form of adult learning for more years, than I care to mention. (Ehm...) I have designed in-person and online training for Fortune 500 companies, graduate students at a major university and my own clients. The tool of improv cuts to the core and trains people how to focus, listen, think on their feet, and respond, quicker THAN ANY OTHER TOOL, I HAVE EVER SEEN!
And that is NOT an overstatement. And while you will learn from one session, it is truly a case of, "if one is good, more is better." Because the more you do it, the better you will become at focusing, listening, thinking on your feet, and responding.
And while it may not turn you into a performer, you will have a LOT OF FUN while you increase your focus, listening, thinking on your feet and responding skills.
So the next time you are invited to improv, say, "Yes" (a core improvisation skill) and go have fun! After all, there is nothing wrong with fun, is there?
Come play with us on August 14, for the next free improv session at BioCT Commons, in Groton. Click here for details.