Improvisation to improve your communication

What do Saturday Night Live and The Second City Improv Theater have in common with successful people and organizations? They follow the same core principles! Authenticity, listening,collaboration and fearlessness are just a few of the common attributes of successful “Improvisers” and high-performing people.

Here are some of the benefits and lessons to be gained from practicing Improvisation: 

To learn to listen; hearing what is being said in order to understand and respond appropriately 

To say “yes”—“Yes, and I will do this __________” 

Never “yes, but” or “no“ 

To live in the moment 

Make big choices 

Make them often 

Make them early 

Take risks: 

Rather than being devil’s advocate, say instead “Yes, that’s an interesting idea and I have another!” 

Mistakes are gifts—own them, don’t correct them but keep going, keep the flow and acknowledge it without apology 

Heighten, Explore, Transform 

Approach each communication and moment with an attitude of “today’s the day!” 

Be confident! Like a pilot walking through an airport 

Don’t have a planned end 

“Yes, and”—accept and build upon 

Listen to understand, not to respond 

Improv summed to one statement: “Yes, and…”, love, and have fun! 

By Aida Johnson-Rapp

I am grateful for everything that life has to offer. My patience with others is a virtue, but I do have a restless spirit. Most of all I love to laugh. I am adventurous and bold, but I don’t like to get dirty. I love to dance, workout and run, yet I can also put in some serious TV time. Sure I like shoes and my closet contains a vast diversity of styles from beach thongs, several sports models and even four inch heels. That said I am ready for whatever escapade arises. I am extremely energetic, young in spirit and very much to the left of conservative. I enjoy spending time at the beach and museums. Because I like being around people, I enjoy going to outdoor festivals, parties or participating in an outdoor sport.