Improv Techniques come in handy

I have been watching Improvisational Comedy videos for many years now and have been wanting to try it myself. I’ve watched this TED talk about it a few years ago and thought it’d be great to try something like that at Improving. We’ve finally had our first Improv workshop at the Houston office and it was a blast!

We brought in an Improv coach experienced in leading such workshop at companies and had 10 Improvers in attendance. Everybody loved it! It was a lot of fun, everybody got something out of it, and we all want more.

The interest in having such a workshop at Improving came out of reading Daniel H. Pink’s “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”. Great book! At some point, the author mentions Improv techiniques, so we decided to hire an Improv coach to lead a workshop for us.

Besides just being such a fun activity to do with your colleagues, what was so great about it?

Well, I’ll just tell you the areas I see myself sticking Improv techniques in my daily life…

Scrum meetings: how often do teams get into that “status report” flow during daily scrum? How often do team members feel shy participating in retrospective meetings because their ideas get immediately shot down? Better listening skills can be a big help here.

Networking: I’m terrible at remembering people’s names and getting to know more about people I meet.

Working with new people: speeding up that period when a group of new people get to work together, helping them get to know each other and get comfortable with each other quickly.

Public speaking: whether people are talking to a big audience or to a small one (maybe it’s presenting an idea to a team of 5 people), learning techniques to do that better is very benefitial.

I’ll most likely be writing new posts on specifics experiments and learnings I have in this topic.

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