2020 has been a year of widespread changes, including a major shift to remote work. To keep pace with such accelerated changes, a staggering number of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals have gone from knowing everything to dropping everything they know, improvising every day to adopt systems and mindsets that favor speed, agility and versatility. It’s become more common than ever to interact virtually, yet many are still feeling the absence of personal interactions.
How to usher in the winds of change, maintain your business success AND keep your team agile? Enter improv workshops for business.
What is an improv workshop?
Improv, short for improvisational theater, is a form of theater where everything is made up on the spot by the participants. In an improv workshop, an experienced improviser will lead your team through exercises and teach techniques to collaboratively build a scene.
Sounds great. How does this relate to business?
- Improv requires active listening, responding truthfully, and caring for your scene partner. In business, apply these skills to fully receive and process information from team members and customers to make the most informed next moves. Your direct, honest communication will promote clarity and inclusion. Most importantly, working cooperatively with your team and customers will result in a win-win situation for everyone.
- It’s a team effort. Simple, silly exercises loosen people up as participants learn to rely on the support of the team and build something cohesive together.
- A cornerstone of improv is “yes, and…,” meaning whatever brought forward is acknowledged and integrated by the team. This does not mean that random chaos is entertained, but rather your team will respond to whatever you bring forward and build upon it.
Imagine if a team felt empowered to work in this way? What kind of solutions are possible in such a dynamic environment? Imagine how this cohesive approach and spontaneity could solve customer problems or improve a product.
Why is improv special? Why not do a regular team building activity?
Do you remember that scene in the 1800s coffee shop? A successful team building activity generates a sense of accomplishment, enthusiasm and renewed interest to cooperate to achieve a common goal. Improv makes a space for teams to develop agility, versatility, and navigate a connected web of communication. What heights could your team reach?
The new normal of virtual communication isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so find a corporate improv workshop taught by a professional improviser that fits your budget and timeline. Workshops are offered through organizations such as (but not limited to) Improv to Improve, Jet City Improv, or Improvolution, and also offered by well-known Improv schools such as The PIT in NYC (yes, they do virtual!). Once you find one that’s right for you, get it on the calendar and get ready for your team to grow wings!
Camille Shandle is an enthusiastic member of the Growth Ops Community. She has worked with people for a very long time and is a believer of the importance of the arts in everyday life.