The secret to successful human interactions is hopefully not a secret, but a way of life.
On a stage, Improvisers drill and practice this “secret”, to form a new habit and a way of interacting on stage that builds support and trust amongst individuals and teams.
The secret? Make your partner look good.
From customers to clients, friends, co-workers, hiring managers, and partners your job on stage and off is to make the other person look good – especially when you are interacting with someone new.
It’s a fundamental switch from ‘what’s in it for me’ to, ‘what can I do to help and support you’ because those who know this secret also realize that if I make you look good, we all look good, and that the efforts of a team are more important than the individual.
This post from Seth Godin skillfully highlights the hierarchy of business to business needs. Whether you are trying to help someone avoid risk, avoid hassle, or gain praise in business interactions, the focus remains on helping to make them look good.
To understand their needs is to empathize, listen, and help make them look not just good…but spectacular. For, when your number one job, on stage or off, is to support your fellow team members, well, you’ve got the secret to a winning team.