I recently facilitated a 2½ hr Applied Improvisation (AI) session for a small team of Client Services consultants whose company offers Employee Wellbeing services. It was amazing to watch a group of people who had virtually no performance experience work together as a team to create ‘magic’ in the form of hilariously funny scenes & games. The majority of the session was spent ‘playing’ – this is an important feature of AI because it gives each participant the opportunity to learn experientially a new lesson, or to see in-action what happens when an important communication principle is not applied. The fascinating thing about AI is that each person can learn something different – even though the same principles are taught to and practiced with the whole group. After the session, each person was given an opportunity to share with the group what they experience and learnt – this feedback session is always enlightening because sometimes a participant shares a lesson that was not specifically taught, but has bearing on the team and how they work together. The participants each completed a feedback form and when asked “What lessons did you take from the session?“, these were their answers:
  1. Tolerance
  2. Communication is key
  3. Don’t forget to laugh and maintain humour in the day
  4. Stay focussed on one thing at a time and do it well – discussion about how we multi-task and how ineffective it can be.
  5. How talented each team member is and as a team working together, it is a fusion of talent.
  6. Not to panic when things go wrong.
  7. To be confident in everything I do even if you I feel I don’t have all the necessary material.
  8. To always do my best with what you have.
  9. Thinking out of the box, thinking off your feet, active, perform at your best and Improvise!
  10. To be a bit more agreeable to others suggestions depending on the risk.
  11. To focus on your body language in how you greet as that sends out a message in itself.
  12. To build positive relationships in using the skills of effective communication.
(These answers are in the participants’ own words, only edited for formatting purposes) As you can see, the participants not only enjoyed the session but gained some important and invaluable insights that will have an effect on how they work together and with their clients.