Ah, just when you think you’ve become an Improvisation Jedi a challenge emerges to test your will, your word, and the ability to make the conscious unconscious.
Enter, the group project.
Time and time again I’m reminded just how important the skills of an Improviser are, how much practice it takes to apply these behaviors on and off-stage and the reward for doing so.
Sometimes, we need a re-set or a re-boot to wake us up and remind us that these behaviors sometimes hide off-stage when things like stress, the need for control, deadlines, and “being right” want the spotlight for the quick ego boost they may provide.
Ah, silly person. No. These aren’t the rewards that count. It’s the reward that comes from being a team player that we desire most.
Be the kind of Improviser/group project member people want on their team… because you make them better.
So, how do we do that?
1. Notice More it is my obligation to notice, accept, and use every offer/idea that comes my way. We only notice the offers if we are listening and paying attention
2. Start with agreement – Because I believe everything my partner says is fascinating and even, genius — it is my obligation to notice their offer and start with a place of “yes”. To do this well, I need to withhold judgement and blocking in favor of more acceptance.
3. Build instead of tear down - “yes, and” the heck out of their idea. Two heads are better than one. By building on their initial idea instead of simply sticking to my own I help make my partner look good…great, even!
What truly happens when we enact these guidelines and put them into practice every day is that we allow ourselves and our team-mates to be changed. It’s what happens when we notice, accept, and build more often. We’re in our own head less, and experiencing more.
And if we fail at this today, there is always tomorrow.