What’s the drill – March 1st: Creating training that’s more than just fun and games

Over the last few days, I’ve had several conversations with friends and colleagues all centered around the same topic:

Why is Applied Improvisation a useful training tool? There has to be more to it than fun and games, they say.

I’m always happy to enter the discussion. Here is some of what I say:

  • Applied Improvisation is just one tool in the training toolbox. We teach and train skills to build more communicative/collaborative and engaged work environments.  Many of these skills are shared with those of an Improviser
  • It can push people out of their comfort zone, to increase their ability to navigate the unknown, adapt, and think on their feet in pressure-filled and difficult circumstances
  • It provides a new framework and principles to train hot-button issues like innovation/creativity/collaboration
  • It uses storytelling techniques, which is an important method for retaining, communicating and giving meaning to information
  • It aids adult learning by engaging the participants “whole brain”, and encouraging self-reflection through debrief
  • Applied Improv techniques allow participants the opportunity to role-play scenarios and behaviors and “practice their performance” with real-time feedback
  • It uses humor  to engage, and laughter to release dopamine in the brain, which activates learning centers.
  • It is fully customize-able – not a one-size-fits-all approach to training
Yes, Improv is fun – but it’s more than just fun and games. Any professional development training must do more than provide fun and games in order for learning to stick. The training must tie-back to agreed upon objectives and directly apply to the work participants are doing.
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